Today, high school students across the country participated in a walkout to commemorate lives lost a month ago in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida.
Local high schoolers also participated in walkouts.
Rock Bridge High School senior Kristine Cho spoke at her school’s demonstration today. She said she feels that protest and demonstration are critical in having a political voice.
“I think it was really powerful to see everyone out in front of the building gathered in solidarity, and gathered to try and create change, and gathered to try and express how we felt; why we were upset with the status quo,” Cho said.
While the walkout was not endorsed by Columbia Public Schools, the district did have a safety plan in place.
CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said local law enforcement was present to maintain peace and ensure the safety of all students.
“Overall, it was a very peaceful activity. Students returned to class afterwards,” Baumstark said.
The demonstration lasted 17 minutes in honor of each of the 17 lives lost in Florida.
The district had previously set safety procedures for students to follow.
Students who participated received an absence and are required to make-up lost work.