PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – “We want change. We want change.”
That was the chant shouted by hundreds of West Boca High School students Tuesday morning as they took part in a solidarity march to protest gun violence.
A large group of students walked out of class to march to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, site of last week’s deadly school massacre, where 17 people were killed.
On Tuesday, they came arm in arm arriving to cheers at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school.
Most of them left around 9 a.m., traveling 12 long and hot miles on foot to reach the school – it was a march for a cause.
Chopper 4 flew over the march as students walked along SR 441 to Loxahatchee Road and headed to the school.
“I really think we should have more background checks and how are you gonna give an AR-15 to a 19-year-old? We shouldn’t be giving out military guns,” said West Boca High student Katharine Barbosa.
“I came here because I wanted to support everyone here and I came here also for gun violence,” said West Boca High student Mia Donado.
“I feel like we had our voices heard. I hope Donald Trump and the government hears us and tries to make some changes man,” said West Boca High student Tomas Segnini.
They arrived sweaty and exhausted but, happy they can do something, whether it’s just to support those suffering, honor those who were lost or just say, “Never Again.”
“We just want to show students over here, we care and they’re not alone,” said Segnini.
A spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said his agency and the Broward Sheriff’s Office were following the students just to ensure their safety and make sure the roads stayed clear.
Students at other area schools also staged walkouts on Tuesday, including Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood McArthur high schools.
Miami Beach Senior High school wants to be next in turning their grief into action. Students met at Miami Beach City Hall Tuesday afternoon to talk business.
“We will continue these walkouts until something happens because we are terrified students and we do not know how to handle this without someone protecting us,” said Mayor Dan Gelber’s daughter Hannah.
“These are young people who are smart, they know what they want, they know what they aren’t getting, they know what they need, and I think they’ve realized the way you express yourself in this country is by words and at the ballot box,” said Mayor Dan Gelber.
We’ve learned through parents that Miami Beach Senior High is one of a few schools where the administration is not supporting the walkout. Parents say they’ll still follow the kids and march.
Hialeah High is reportedly planning a walkout on Wednesday.
Miami-Dade Public Schools said of students on Tuesday,
“They must express their opinion respectfully, without disrupting the educational environment or violating school rules. Students who intend to express their ideas and opinions through demonstration must discuss time, place, duration and restrictions with a sponsor or administrator in advance.”
Broward County Public Schools also responded to the ongoing walkouts saying in part,
“BCPS encourages peaceful and lawful protest only. Any violations of the student code of conduct will be handled by individual schools.”