CSAS student to lawmakers: “Do something that really matters"
For some, the walkout was a symbol of support for stricter gun control. For others, it was a memorial for the 17 killed in Florida.
About 300 students gathered on the steps in front of The Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. For some, the walkout was a symbol of support for stricter gun control. For others, it was a memorial for the 17 killed in Florida.
At the stroke of 10 a.m., a wave of students left their classrooms, and walked out. A symbol of solidarity for students across the United States.
“Do something that really matters. And do something that will make some sort of change,” said CSAS Senior Dana Walden.
One at a time, white balloons were released, in memory of those killed.
“I personally participated because of the 17 that died, it was extremely awful. I came to pay my respects to them,” said CSAS Senior Viviana Ramos.
Students had a message for lawmakers: they are the future and will soon be old enough to vote for change.
“When we do get our power, when we are running for office, when we are making laws, we will use our pass experiences. Make it to where our kids and our grandkids, and grandkids kids, don't have to worry about their basic safety,” said Walden.
But students weren't the only ones participating in the national movement. Parents also showed their support.
“I thought it was very appropriate, emotional, inspiring,” said Chris Balthrope, a parent who has two students at CSAS.
The walkout ended with a challenge. Students at CSAS encouraged one another to do 17 acts of kindness; every day, moving forward.
“Small things or big things like this can really impact us a lot,” said Ramos.
There was extra security on Hamilton County campuses during the walkouts. Wednesday morning, a Chattanooga police officer and a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy were at the CSAS campus.