These scenes played out across the country as students put down their pencils and pens and walked out of class to protest gun violence.

Tens of thousands of young people across the United States walked out of school to demand action on gun violence Wednesday in one of the biggest student protests since the 1960s.

Scenes from across the nation:


More than 300 students from two dozen public and charter schools in Providence, Rhode Island, walked out of school and marched from their campuses to the State House for a rally and program of events.
The student-led actions were organized by the Providence Student Union, a long-time student advocacy organization, which draws most of its membership from Classical and Central high schools and the Providence Career & Technical Academy.

With a marching band and a police escort, some 200 students from Classical, Central, and PCTA marched to the back steps of the State House, where they were joined by 100 more students, all of them chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, gun violence has got to go.”

Students carried orange signs and wore orange arm bands, the color of the student walkout movement. The march was orderly and accompanied by a number of adults and some charter school teachers.

Maddie Wood, a Classical High School student, says she’s protesting today because gun violence in schools should have been stopped after the first school shooting.

Wood says she is opposed to arming teachers.

One LaSalle Academy student told The Providence Journal, “We shouldn’t feel this fear (of being killed or injured in school) every day. We all share this fear.”


About 100 students braved the cold outside Sutton High School in Sutton, Massachusetts, to issue a call to change the country’s gun laws.

Sutton’s demonstration was one of the several in the region that went on despite the spate of school cancellations and morning delays on Wednesday after Tuesday’s snowstorm. At just after 10 in the morning, students silently streamed out of the high school’s front entrance and congregated in the bus driveway next to the building.

“Today, we walk out of class to stand in solidarity” with the victims of gun violence, said senior Maddison Murray, one of the students who coordinated the walkout. “I walk out for the students that can no longer walk out themselves.”

A portion of the students’ demonstration was devoted to reading the names of the 17 people killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre on Feb. 14. A moment of silence was also observed for the shooting victims.

Student speakers also expressed frustration and anger over the shooting, however, which was the latest in a recent series of gun violence incidents at U.S. schools.

“We refuse to accept that school shootings are a thing that just happens to us,” said senior Alison Zuliani. “Together, we stand in defiance. We demand change.”

Specifically, the students called for a ban on assault weapons and bump stocks, stronger background checks of gun buyers, and prohibiting the sale of guns to people under 21.


More than 30 women linked arms in the blustering wind Wednesday morning to stage their own version of a walkout outside Villa Maria Academy in Millcreek Township, Pennsylvania.

The group included Villa alumnae, parents of current and former Villa students, and Roman Catholic sisters who taught at the all-girls school in years past.

It did not include current Villa students, who had been bused a few minutes earlier to the Prep & Villa Events Center for a mandatory joint Mass with the students of the all-boys Cathedral Preparatory School. Students were told in advance of the Mass that they would face discipline, including detention, if they walked out.

A cheer went up when the group at the Villa campus heard, at about 10:15, that a small group of students had gathered together on their own before the 10 a.m. Mass in remembrance of the 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“When I heard Villa was not being permitted to march out with a lot of other schools across the country, I just thought that was such a disservice to these girls,” said Alana Handman, who organized the gathering and graduated from Villa Maria in 1963. “We were taught to be socially conscious and to do whatever we could when we were out in the world to make things better.”


Students gathered at Dover High School in Dover, New Hampshire, to participate in the walkout, in spite of a two-hour delayed start to the school day because of inclement weather.

About 175 students protested at two locations, one inside and one outside.

About 100 students went to the side of the school on the access road behind the building, and another 75 students went to the auditorium. At both locations, students read the name of each of the 17 victims who died at the Parkland shooting with a short bio. After each name was read, there was a moment of silence.

In the auditorium, junior Solomon Bixby read the names.

“They were people just like me that were killed last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and they deserve to be remembered,” he said after the students went back to class.

Outside, senior Aidan Mattingly and junior Kylan Mastro read the Parkland victims’ names.
“Let the 17 killed as students be remembered. May their deaths not be in vain,” Mattingly added.

The walkout at the high school came with the support of school administration. In a note sent to parents before the walkout, Principal Peter Driscoll said the district was not necessarily promoting this or other political events. However, “we are planning to account for the safety and well being of the students should they choose to participate,” he wrote.


Students at Holland High School, Holland Early College, Zeeland East and West High Schools, Saugatuck High School and West Ottawa High School — among other West Michigan schools — all hosted demonstrations.

Students at Holland Early College stood on the corner outside the school, holding signs and chanting “Protect kids, not guns.” Cars driving by waved at the kids and honked their horns in support.

“I heard that Holland High School was doing this, and we wanted to be our own voice,” said Holland Early College sophomore Eli Brown. “I got things posted and a bunch of us decided to walk out."

Holland High School’s demonstration was initially planned to take place in the courtyard, and Superintendent Brian Davis did not allow media to enter. But so many students participated that the demonstration moved out to the sidewalk in front of the building. Dozens of children stood with signs and walkers-by stood on the other side of the street, clapping and cheering for the protesting students.

The scene at Zeeland was a quieter affair. Zeeland East and West students met at the walkway between their schools and stood in silence for 17 minutes, one minute for every person killed in Parkland. A few students teared up and hugged their friends. 

Zeeland student Ramona Raffenaud, who organized the Zeeland walkout, said she did not want the walkout to be a political event that divided the schools, but something to honor the Parkland victims.

“We want to show our support even if it’s from across the country,” she said. “We want people to hear our voices. We shouldn’t be scared to go to school. School is a place we should feel safe but school shootings are becoming more common. We want people to hear our voices and we want to see a change. We want to keep kids safe.”