BROCKTON (CBS) – Hundreds of students walked out of class on Wednesday at Somerville High School, demanding action on gun control following the deadly shooting at a Florida high school.
After walking out of class just after 8 a.m., the students sat in silence for 17 minutes to symbolize the 17 people killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
“We wanted to take action and this is the way that we decided to do it,” Jack Torres said. “The 17 minutes –it’s the best way that we can honor those victims. I wish we could do more.”
He also said that 17 minutes was a long time for high school students to sit still.
Flavia DeSousa agreed.
“Just how they must have felt in that moment. Because when we were crouching, my legs did get really sore and I was in pain and I kept trying to adjust but when they were in the classrooms trying to stay alive they couldn’t sit up, they had to just stay in that position so they didn’t die,” she said.
Following the 17 minutes of silence, students marched to nearby Trum Field, where they wrote letters to lawmakers pushing for gun reform.
Parents like Chris Austill, whose daughter helped organize the walkout, got emotional.
“What really got to me was them being in silence it was so respectful and so it was such a coordinated effort I didn’t expect it to move me so much but it really did,” he said.
“She talks about is that if you’re in the cafeteria here you can’t get out, if you’re in the staircase you can’t get out, this is real, it’s not something that’s happening over there,” Austill added.
The students say they will continue “Walkout Wednesday” until lawmakers hear their concerns and take action on gun control.
On March 14th, Torres says students plan to join other high schools across the area to lobby in front of the state house. On the 24th, students he says they will walk in the “March For Our Lives.”