Thousands of middle Tennessee students protest gun violence on National Walkout Day

    (FOX 17 News) McGavock High

    Thousands of students across middle Tennessee marched out of class Wednesday for a national walkout protesting gun violence.

    Students from kindergarten to high school filed out of school at 10 a.m. to honor the 17 victims of a deadly Florida shooting.

    Young kids from an East Nashville charter school walked to their nearby gym and chanted messages of love and kindness. Dozens of students walked a block down the road to the YMCA where they attended at 20 minute program about love and kindness. They then marched back to their school reciting chants about being kind to others.

    "I don’t want him to feel scared about that so that is not a discussion we have and I have not let him watch the coverage of school shootings," Parent Todd Valentine said. "I’m proud of the school, and I’m proud of my son that he’s learning to have a voice in his community, to take a stand on things that he feels strongly about. That’s what I want him to take away from this."

    Meanwhile, students from Hume Fogg High School descended upon the steps of the State Capitol for a large "March For Our Lives" rally. Some lawmakers said they were proud of the movement.

    And at Nashville School of the Arts, students stood silent for 17 minutes in honor of the victims.

    McGavock High School held an organized rally outside the school's doors led by its principal.

    "You have to do something," Freshman Claire Taylor said. "You have to form an opinion, and you have to feel passionate and you have to speak up because if you don’t speak up then there’s no point in promoting change."

    "I feel like we’re still not doing anything about it," Senior Kendrick Mays said. "It’s still stuff going on. People are still allowed to go to Walmart and pick up a gun."

    "We need to stay together, and we need to figure out creative solutions to the problems we are facing today," Taylor said. "Not only does it affect schools, it affects everyone."

    "It’s us," Mays said. "We have to worry about coming to school everyday. Is school going to be safe? Are we going to make it back home?"

    Some midstate schools that participated include:

    • Pearl-Chon High School
    • Oliver Middle School – Event inside the school led by student council president
    • J.T. Moore Middle School
    • McKissack Middle
    • Cane Ridge High
    • Apollo Middle School
    • Dan Mills Elementary
    • Vanderbilt University
    • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
    • John OVerton High - Held a Silent 17 memorial

    Scroll trhough the gallery below to see how other schools in middle Tennessee participated in National Walkout Day and click here to submit photos or videos:

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