COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thousands of Central Ohio high school students participated in Wednesday’s National Walkout Day, in support of the students and survivors of last month’s mass shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In addition to supporting those in Florida, many students who took part in a walkout have also said they are advocating for stricter gun laws.
“I feel like since it has happened so many times, we got to a point where we need to speak up and that the students had to make a change about it, because no one else would,” said Katie Somphanthavasouk, a South High School student.
Somphanthavasouk and a few hundred of her schoolmates, walked out of class and onto their football field for 17 minutes.
The length of the walkout is symbolic of the number of people killed, in Parkland, Florida.
“It’s the start of the change,” said Jordan Yeck. “We had to show other people that we’re not afraid.”
The Columbus Board of Education supported the students who chose to participate in the walkout, also calling today “Safer Together Day.”
Interim Superintendent John Stanford and school board President Gary Baker, joined the South High School students in their walkout.
“We really do need to honor these student leaders and these community members, and really come together and finally do something positive,” Baker said.
According to a district spokesman, students at all 109 Columbus City Schools participated in various events, in recognition of the day.