Students around the Valley remember Parkland school shooting anniversary

FOWLER, Calif. (KFSN) -- In the Central Valley, thousands of students participated in the National School Walk Out Wednesday morning, by staying on campus.

Respectful and peaceful. That was the goal of students and administrations when the idea of participating the walkout came up shortly after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

A conversation that started the day after that shooting between Fresno High School students turned into something much more powerful. On Wednesday, hundreds of students participated in the National School Walkout by staying on campus.

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The goal between students and administrators at Fresno High was to have a demonstration that was both respectful and peaceful.

"My friends and I who are passionate about this, a small group of us, made this happen. It reaffirms that, yes, we are important and we are powerful and we are going to be the generation that's going to change things," said Brooke Rowland, Fresno High School Student.

Rowland is with the school's Social Justice Club. The group of students wanted to have a memorial to honor the 17 victims. For each victim, a student held a white rose in their honor. As each name was read out loud students laid on the ground to resemble the victims falling down.

"We choose that because it is striking and raw and uncomfortable. But when things are not comfortable it leads to growth and conversation which is what is needed. But it was definitely difficult to see," said Rowland.

"If I were one of those seventeen victims I would feel glad and very satisfied that someone would recognize me in that way in that matter. And for them to do that I feel like it is very special for them," said Marco Molina, Fresno High School Student.

Students held up signs saying "lives not bribes" and "am I next?"
Students and administrators worked together to let all students and parents know about having the right to participate or not. Fresno High School's principal says everything ran smoothly but they were prepared for any major problems.

"We had safety officials that were placed around the perimeter just to make sure our students were safe in terms of where they were going. If they were going to walk we were going to be with them," said Bryan Wells, Fresno High School Principal.

The principal and students at Fresno High School expect to have more activities like this in the future -- as long as they communicate with each other and that safety is a top priority.

Similar activities were also held all over the Valley.

Fowler High students formed a heart on the quad and placed a banner that read "#Parkland" for their #WalkUpNOTOut student-led program.

The students had a safe place to talk about gun violence and mental health on the one month anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The principal of the school shared drone footage with us and said he was very proud of his students.

A small number of middle school students in Clovis also took part.

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Parents walked their students to the office of Rep. Devin Nunes to deliver a message on gun control.

Two students and their parents stood in front of the campus to protest.

8th grade student Andrijia Zabala said her age should not be taken for granted.

"I feel like grownups are constantly shying away from younger children because we are too young to understand about politics," said Zabala. "I feel like you are never too young to understand about politics, I feel like if anything everyone should be informed about politics, this is America."

Two other parents walked their children from the campus to the Clovis offices of republican congressman Devin Nunes.

RELATED: Watch videos from the #Enough National School Walkout around the country
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