Hundreds of Florida students at West Boca High School walked off campus Tuesday morning and thousands more at other high school campuses held rallies or remembrances in honor of the 17 students and teachers killed in a shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last week.
The West Boca High students walked off of campus and headed south to Parkland in a show of solidarity with Douglas High students who have called for stronger gun control measures in the wake of the massacre.
West Boca High is about 10 miles north of Douglas High.
The students gathered at first in a school courtyard, where hundreds of students chanted “we want change, we want change.”
Later, the students began streaming down the street toward Parkland, where Douglas High is located. Live footage from television news choppers showed dozens of students walking peacefully along major roads.
Kendrick Hong, a 14-year-old West Boca High freshman, said the school was having a moment of silence for Douglas, which was to last 17 minutes, but kids got frustrated and said, “let’s go!”
He said school security tried to stop them but it “just turned into a spontaneous demonstration.”
“It’s just amazing that all of us just did it.”
“I just didn’t feel anyone was doing anything about guns,” said Hong, who walked about 4 ½miles before getting a ride to Douglas.
He said West Boca High Principal Craig Sommer is walking with the kids.
Hong believes about 90 percent of the school took part in the walk.
“We are supporting a cause. That’s what so amazing,” said freshman Joey Courtney, 14.
Courtney said teachers also marched with the students “because they don’t feel safe either because of the lack of gun laws.”
No one should be afraid to go to school,” Hong said.
Rebeca Rojas, 14, a freshman at West Boca, said, “We have a right to protest. President Trump needs to know that he needs to make a law so that someone can’t get guns so easily.”
At the same time, students at Boca Raton High and Park Vista High west of Boynton Beach held rallies or rememberances on their school campuses.
The public manifestations came as students from Douglas High boarded a bus Tuesday afternoon for Tallahassee, where they planned to press for changes to Florida’s gun laws.