BEREA, OH (WOIO) –
Students around the country stood up and walked out of class on Wednesday.
For many, it was a protest of gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
At Berea-Midpark High School in Berea, hundreds of students did the same thing.
A lot of them said they weren’t just advocating for more gun restrictions, but addressing the problems of school violence as a whole.
That’s the way the students wanted it. Although the walkout has been tied to gun control on a national level, several local teenagers say they wanted to present a united front, and allow their classmates to march for a variety of reasons, calling for greater access to mental health care, broader background checks for firearms, and a ban on bump stocks.
“I think we need to look at gun control, I think we need to look at mental health, I think we need to look at how schools are currently handling safety issues. There’s more than just one fix to the problem,” said student organizer Alexis Lee.
School administrators say the walkout was entirely student organized. No one was forced to participate in any way, but students will not be punished for their short absence from class.
“We had a lot more than I was expecting,” said Lee. “I think maybe a good quarter of the school, maybe half of the school, participated.”
After the walkout, students stood on the steps in front of the school and recited the names of each of the 17 people killed in Parkland, followed by a moment of silence. After that, they marched around the school campus, each holding signs explaining why they were marching.
READ MORE: Cleveland19.com
Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News
First and Second Picture Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and Getty Images