And over and over, they repeated the message: Enough is enough.
"When you're talking about protecting your home or yourself, you're not talking about generally 50 people walking in and you need to annihilate the whole gang", she said. We're going to have to live with whatever laws that the current lawmakers make today. The students there simply memorialized the victims by tying 17 balloons to a flag pole and giving speeches during the 17-minute span. In response, Keranen reached out and stated gathering up other students.
Phil Lenkowski, now living in Poland, messaged local parent David Henry Sterry during the protest, saying that he had seen Montclair High School had one of the biggest demonstrations in America. At others, just one or two walked out in defiance of administrators.
"As a Salesian, that's what I believe in: the power of young people".
"I thought it was fantastic", Wellington High School principal Tina Drake said. Many held signs urging gun control. Students at Wahtonka Community School supported those who did walk out, principal Brian Goodwin said, but they were engaged with a project and did not walk out themselves. Boston students marched to the State House to demand their legislators enact tougher gun control laws.
At Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, dozens of students left their classes at 10 a.m. and walked outside. President Trump was out of town.
Another student who was equally - if not more - frustrated with the situation was Charlie Beckett, who took a vocal stand against all her classmates who weren't taking the moment seriously.
Stoneman Douglas High senior David Hogg, who has emerged as one of the leading student activists, livestreamed the walkout at the tragedy-stricken school on his YouTube channel.
"Part of that is recognizing that school violence is something that's on the students' and the staff's minds pretty much every day, and to ignore it is to ignore reality", he said.
In addition to star-studded performances, the student-led march has inspired many families around the D.C. metro area to seek housing for those traveling to D.C.to participate in the march.
Another protest against gun violence is scheduled in Washington on March 24, with organizers saying it is expected to draw hundreds of thousands.
Trump momentarily signaled support for curbing access to guns, notably by raising the age for purchases from 18 to 21, but now stands accused of bowing to the NRA.
MacDonald claims other students with pro-gun signs such as "Arm our teachers" were allowed to remain during the walkout.
"Smiling, helping someone with their schoolwork 17 times, giving 17 hugs, giving 17 smiles", Hand said.
Rather than the walkout, the school held a prayer service and also gave students time to write government officials about the changes they'd like to see.