A number of students at Central High School joined in the National Walkout Day Wednesday morning to protest gun violence.
Several thousand walkouts were planned across the country. Wednesday marks one month since the deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, students walked out of Central and to the bleachers at the football field where a short peaceful rally took place that ended with students chanting, “We want change.”
Devon and Emily are two students who worked to coordinate the walkout at Central.
“Today, our protest ensures that gun violence can and will be stopped with the help of you, the students,” said Devon during a speech at the walkout. “As students, this is our most pressing issue. School safety must be prioritized. Just because you are young, does not mean that your voice does not matter… You can make a difference in the world. Central High School is saying, ‘Enough,’ to gun violence. St. Joseph, Missouri, is saying, ‘Enough,’ to gun violence and your action in walking out today is saying, ‘Enough,’ to gun violence.”
Emily said the turnout was better than expected and the goal of the walkout is change.
“The ultimate hope is that lawmakers see that we want change to be made and we want them to do something about the violence that exists in schools,” Emily said. “We really want people to call their congressmen, we really want people to keep speaking out about this, having constructive conversations with people about the situation and not just hiding behind a Twitter profile, but really talking to people about why this means something and why we care.”