Students across the Tennessee valley joined thousands of others across the nation during a national school walkout.

Students at Heritage High School in Catoosa County participated in the walkout.

It lasted 17 minutes in memory of each of the 17 people killed at a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Students filled the front lawn of the school holding signs that read “Backpacks Not Body Bags" and "Not One More."

During the 17 minutes, Heritage High students read the names of the 17 students and teachers who died during the shooting.

Students said they didn't want their walk out to be politically charged, instead, they wanted to focus on changes they can make right now.

“Seventeen people who will be remembered and 17 people who inspire change,” urged one of the student speakers.

"Inspire change," students said that is the motto for their walkout. They said change at Heritage High School starts now.

"Change doesn't have to start tomorrow it can start right now. I'm going to ask you guys to do something, will you turn around and look at someone you literally have no clue what their name is,” said student Hannah Colston, “Ask them what their name is and tell them how your day is going."

Students said regardless of political views, they want to come together to move forward.

"We don't want to break people apart, we see too much of that. We want to bring people together,” urged Colston, “All of us want change, maybe different ways, but we're focusing on the practical things we can do as students."

"Talking to the kids you see alone all the time, eating with someone new, thank your teachers for being here every day,” explained Colston, “Practical things, we can make a small change in our lives and other students lives."

The walkout was student-led, but teachers did attend. There was also extra police presence at the school.

Administrators said they are impressed with the approach students are taking.

"I'm proud of them and their approach. It's an approach where they take ownership themselves like, what can we do. Rather than just demanding other people do things," said Principal Ronnie Bradford.