NORTH CAROLINA – Today marks the one month anniversary of the mass shooting at a Florida high school.
At 10 a.m., students at dozens of high schools across the state walked out of the classroom to show their support for the victims and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Apex Friendship High School was one of more than 3,100 schools that participated in the national walkout, which lasted 17 minutes – symbolizing the lives lost in the Parkland, Florida shooting on Valentine’s Day.
Wake County students we spoke to said putting a stop to school shooting isn’t a partisan issue. They said it’s about safety and students having the right to feel secure while in the classroom.
Wake County school officials say they support students’ rights of free expression. No students will be penalized for taking part in peaceful demonstrations.
Students at Hough High School in Cornelius counted among thousands of schools across the country taking time out of the classroom for National Walk Out Day. Several speeches touched upon the dire need to feel safe in schools.
They say now, more than ever, students need to have a seat at the table to ensure that can happen.
Tables on the football field were jam-packed with teens putting pen to paper, writing to legislators or even registering to vote.
And more than 1,000 students at Independence High School in Charlotte also participated in 17 minutes of walkouts to honor the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting.
Students laid flowers at a sign for each victim's name and then they asked students to consider registering to vote.
In High Point, students at the Penn Griffin School for the Arts expressed themselves through art.
A number of theater students performed spoken words while others played the guitar and sang songs.
Each of the 17 victims' names of the Parkland shooting were read and the students held a moment of silence.
At East Chapel Hill High School, students aligned their desks in a circle to discuss gun violence.
More than a hundred students poured onto the campus court yard to remember the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
Students at Hoggard High held signs and yelled their concerns about gun control and school safety during Wednesday's event.
The school system also created the "My 17 Campaign" to give high school students a chance to talk about bullying, violence, harassment and school safety.
School officials say the campaign gives those who might not have been able to to attend the walk out a voice in the movement.
The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP is standing in solidarity with the student walk outs.
In a statement, it says:
"These students are sending a loud and clear message to the administration in the oval office, that they will no longer be silent and we continue for the protections they rightfully deserve.
To the students that are participating in the National School Walk Out Day, please remember that your work does not end here. You must continue to take the resistance to the ballot box."
Do you think students should participate in National Walk Out Day? Vote in our poll here.