Thousands of students walked out of their schools in protest of gun violence Wednesday, telling the entire country that the Feb. 14 mass school shooting in Parkland, FL should be the last time children are killed by a gunman in the one place they're supposed to be safe.
As part of the National Walkout Day, teenagers took to the street everywhere from Parkland, Washington, D.C., and New York City to Birmingham, AL; Dayton, OH; and Livingston, MT. The Women's March, which helped organise the walkout, estimates that a little over 3,100 schools were supposed to participate Wednesday.
Images of the walkout were particularly arresting. Here you had thousands of young people, in many cases not even old enough to vote, demanding that policy makers finally take some action when it comes to gun violence. In some cases, students walked out even after facing opposition from their school's administration. Their message to lawmakers was clear: Enough.
In general, the walkouts across the U.S. lasted for 17 minutes, one for each of the Parkland victims. Most students stood defiantly and in silence, while some staged sit-ins or die-ins as part of the protest.
The National Walkout Day was only the beginning, however. Young people are set to take streets again nationwide for the March for Our Lives on March 24 and another national walkout on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.