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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Inspired by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, thousands of students across the U.S. put down their books Wednesday and walked out of their school in a symbolic call for tougher gun control measures.

Organizers say nearly three thousand walkouts lasting 17 minutes took place in local time zones at 10 a.m. Some protesters, however, got an early start.

Outside the White House, thousands of children could be seen holding signs and chanting for change and for politicians to “listen.” More than 2,000 high-school age protesters observed 17 minutes of silence outside the White House.

An organizer counted down the seconds until 10 a.m. and the protesters spent the 17 minutes sitting on the ground with their backs turned to the White House as a nearby church bell chimed.

They also turned their backs on the Capitol.

The protests, organized by the Women’s March Youth, came one month to the day after 14 students and three teachers at Stoneman Douglas High were killed in a mass school shooting.

Nationwide, school administrators had mixed reactions to the protests. While some supported the movement, others threatened to discipline students who took part.


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