Local students join nationwide walkouts Wednesday

Students at Heritage High School in Catoosa County walk out. Image: NewsChannel 9 SkyCam

Students at schools across our area took part in a nationwide walkout to call for gun reform legislation and to remember the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida on February 14th.

At Central High School in Hamilton County, students said they didn't want Wednesday's walkout to be about politics - they wanted it to be about remembrance.

The entire student body took part in the walkout at Central High School in Hamilton County. Not only did they honor those who died, they talked about what makes their school so great, and what they can do to keep it that way.

"If we're all together and we're all friendly with each other and we all act like a family, then that can help prevent people feeling left out or people feeling isolated from one another," Central High School student Jake Johns said.

Watch Brandon Evans' 6pm report from Central High School below:

About a hundred students at Heritage High School in Catoosa County joined the walkout.

"There is change to be made, and something definitely needs to happen before it happens in our backyard," Caleb Atkins, Heritage High senior, told us on Tuesday.

Students held signs that said "Fear is NOT my favorite subject," "No fear in our schools," "We walk because you won't let us talk!" and "Do something, don't just tweet."

Watch our NewsChannel 9 Midday live report below:

Our NewsChannel 9 SkyCam captured the view of Heritage students walking out from the air.

Students ended the demonstration after 17 minutes - one minute for each student killed in Florida.

While Heritage officials allowed students to take part in the nationwide walkout, other schools in our area, including Whitfield County Schools, discouraged students from taking part.

Late last month, Hamilton County Schools released a set of recommendations for principals for the March 14th walkout.

Students at Silverdale Academy spent the 17 minutes in prayer, then talking to staff, teachers and administrators.

It was a similar scene at Sale Creek High School in Hamilton County:

HCDE Chief Schools Officer Justin Robertson expressed pride in Hamilton County students Wednesday.

Here's a look at other social media posts by area students during the walkout:

The website appears to be behind many of the March 14th walkouts.

A page on their website says the walkouts are designed to send a message to members of Congress: "We demand that Congress enact an immediate resolution declaring gun violence a public health crisis and dedicating federal funding to research solutions and implement violence intervention programs. We demand Congress recognize all forms of gun violence, including violence committed by police."

This is a developing story. Depend on us to bring you new details as they become available.

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