Thousands of students and teachers marched Wednesday in Washington and across the nation as they left school to call for stricter gun control measures.
The protests come on the one-month anniversary of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead.
A few hundred mostly high school students gathered in demonstration at the White House, bearing signs and chanting for tighter gun control laws. They were headed later to the Capitol.
The students criticized the Trump administration’s response to the shooting by turning their backs to the White House for 17 minutes — marking the 17 students killed in Parkland on Valentine’s Day.
President Donald Trump has asked the federal government to assist states in training school staff to carry guns, in addition to a package of other school violence prevention proposals.
Farah Patmah, 17, of Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Md., brought a sign that read, “Protect kids, not guns.”
“Too many kids have died. We hope to have our voices heard. We have become the target and we need this to stop,” she said.
Homemade signs also spoke to students‘ desire to feel safer at school.
One sign read, “I’m not afraid of an unexcused absence. I’m afraid for my life.” Another read, “Classrooms not war zones.”
The national group behind the walkouts, the youth branch of the Women’s March, says it expects roughly 2,850 walkouts in schools across the country today.
The walkout comes 10 days ahead of the “March for Our Lives,” a rally to be held in D.C. on March 24. The rally, organized by Parkland survivors with major contributions from celebrities, is expected to attract half of a million people.