Students at River City Science Academy walked out of class Wednesday to support the 17 victims killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre one month ago to the day.
Several other schools in the Jacksonville area also took part in National Walkout Day.
“No one walked because they wanted to skip class,” said student organizer Lauren Byrd. “They walked because they cared, and I think that was obvious.”
The students lined up in 17 rows, one for each victim. Each minute, a student read a victim’s name and shared their story.
“Aaron Feis, 37…He was killed when he placed himself in front of students to protect them,” said a student.
STUDENT: "Aaron Feis, 37. Mr. Feis was the football coach at #StonemanDouglasHighSchool. He was killed when he placed himself in front of students to protect them. He was described as a selfless, hard-working man who put himself second." pic.twitter.com/i6Xk8UExQo— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) March 14, 2018
“Scott Beigel, 35…He unlocked his classroom door to allow students in, and then was shot and killed when he tried to lock the door again,” said a student.
“Peter Wang, 15…He held the door open for students to get to safety,” said freshman student Kenan Kucanin. “[Peter] was a member of the JROTC program, and was posthumously selected to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also posthumously received the Medal of Heroism by the Army.”
STUDENT: "Peter Wang, 15...He held the door open for students to get to safety. He was a member of the JROTC program, and was posthumously selected to the U.S. Military Academy at #WestPoint. He also posthumously received the Medal of Heroism by the #Army." @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/72jTdKWNUp— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) March 14, 2018
For some, the violence in Parkland, Florida hit much too close to home.
“I’m devastated because my cousin was a friend of a person that died, so it’s nice that our school is doing something for Parkland,” said student Kiana Gamboa.
The school said Wednesday’s demonstration was voluntary, and that arrangements were made for students who didn’t wish to participate.
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