SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Sarasota and Manatee County students joined 3,100 schools across the nation in National Walk Out Day.
As part of the movement, students nationwide left class at 10 a.m and protested for 17 minutes, in memory of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.
At Booker High School, students did things a little differently. Instead of walking out of class, students joined together in the gymnasium and one by one students spoke out about gun violence and school safety, hoping to motivate the rest of their student body.
"The man who created the AR-15 designed it as, and I quote, 'a military grade weapon to give our soldiers an advantage over the AK-47,'" student Maricela Santos explained. "If its intention is designed to be a weapon of war, why has it been allowed to become a weapon against our children."
The students preached to one another that their voices matter.
"We are moving in the right direction," student Steve Martinez says. "Progress is being made before our eyes, and I think it's a really good thing that doesn't have to stop."
Despite not walking out of class for 17 minutes like the rest of the nation, the 17 Parkland victims were remembered and honored at Booker High School. One by one students released dove balloons into the sky in memory of each person gunned down exactly one month ago.