Students across the nation walked out of their classrooms Wednesday morning in tribute to the victims of the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, FL.
Rallies and ceremonies were held at many schools across Middle Tennessee, including Davidson, Rutherford and Williamson counties.
Students walked of their classrooms at 10 a.m. and gathered outside for 17 minutes, which represented one minute for each person who was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Here in Nashville, some students took their walkout all the way to the State Capitol. Several Hume-Fogg High School students walked onto the steps pleading for lawmakers to take action on gun control.
At John Overton High School in Nashville, students made signs saying "Silent 17" to show that they support the victims and families of the school shooting.
Students organized this silent protest, and Metro Nashville Public Schools supported their right to do that as long as it was peaceful.
Students embraced each other, held hands and prayed. After a speech about stricter gun laws, they read the names of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
News 4 spoke with a student who read the name of a 14-year-old victim.
"It was really heartbreaking to see that it was someone who was only two years younger than me and that she was so young and she had so much more to life, and it just made me really sad that something like that had to happen to her," said high school student Jess Clements.
Students who organized the demonstration in Nashville say the experience has inspired them to get more involved.
Several hundred students at Vanderbilt University also gathered outside Wednesday to protest gun violence. The names of the victims were also read.
At Brentwood High School, about 200 students stood outside and called for changes to gun laws. Several students held signs, some saying "Am I next?" and “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough."
The students read the names and ages of the 17 victims and released 17 balloons in their honor. They also held a moment of silence before walking back inside.
Deepak Sundaramoorthy, a senior at Brentwood High School who helped organize the rally, says they wanted to participate in this nationwide walkout because they’re sick of school shootings and want lawmakers to take action.
"This could happen to any of us. Parkland, Columbine, all those scenarios - we have a very similar demographic situation. Affluent parents, somewhat sheltered community ... It could happen to any of us, and I think emphasizing that fear is something that should get lawmakers on their seats and writing something to save us," Sundaramoorthy said.
Several Brentwood students plan on participating in the March for Our Lives rally happening later this month in downtown Nashville.
At Hendersonville High School, more than 100 students walked out onto the school's band field to honor the victims of the shooting and call on Congress for gun control.
School officials in Sumner County closed the campus to the media and even parents. There were officers stationed at every parking lot entrance to the school as a precaution.
Residents of Hendersonville will be holding a community rally at 7 p.m. at Memorial Park to show solidarity with the students who walked out of class.
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