Finding alternative viewpoints as United States students protest

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Bailey Kellermann, middle school teacher, said in a release that on February 14, the day of the shooting that claimed the lives of 17 Stoneman Douglas students and faculty, Friends School students were sharing affirmation hearts with each other, a Friends School Valentine's Day tradition.

On Chicago's Northwest Side, more than 1,000 students took part in a walkout and rally outside Mather High School.

Calmly and one after the other, hundreds of students poured into the area, with a few homemade signs held above their heads. At Academy Del Sol, students prayed with youth pastors from The Worship Center underneath the school's flag pole.

"I do feel very empathetic for those lives lost". I've been wanting to make an impact because I've been taught by all of my government teachers that our voices matter, that we can make an impact.

"Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence", the organization said on its website. "They are scattered around the country and I can't imagine not being able to see and hug them again".

While Wednesday's walkout attracted just a handful of people who stopped by to observe their vigil, participants said they were grateful to the people who braved the cold and winds.

Senior Kenyatta Thomas, also a walk-out organizer, said today's showing proves student's voices should be heard on serious issues in our country. He says the students behaved in a way that reflected their mission, which was to convey a message of making schools an accepting and positive environment, with a key understanding that "we're all in this together".

American Civil Liberties Union in New Jersey was aiding the students, by preventing schools from punishing those who chose to march out during the movement. There were a number of gun rights advocates who support arming teachers, but they said their objective is the same as the other protesters: protecting all of the students.

Some students in MA said that after Wednesday's protest, they planned to rally outside the Springfield headquarters of the gun maker Smith & Wesson.

MacDonald claims other students with pro-gun signs such as "Arm our teachers" were allowed to remain during the walkout.

"We just want to make it harder for unstable people to hurt us", Wamstad, 17, said. This was also in an effort to bring awareness about gun violence, and perhaps put some pressure on Congress to approve gun control legislation.

Peacock said his main concern is protecting people.

"We can not condone students leaving classes during the instructional day to participate in this activity", Barbara Canavan wrote to students and their parents.

"I've witnessed so many mass shootings, too many", said Reed. Douglas County students organized the walkout, which was not sanctioned or organized by the Douglas County School District, through word of mouth and social media. "We actually do have a say in what's happening and they will in the future, but right now we're the ones that can actively help them".

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