Middle school students in East Hartford walked out of class on Friday to protest gun violence.
Two-hundred 8th graders at Two Rivers Middle School walked out of class around 10:15 a.m.
They said it was in support of the students in Parkland, FL where 17 students and staff were gunned down by a shooter on Feb. 14.
The students held signs and chanted.
"All school children watching this, need to really take this chance to use their voice and be heard," said Aaliyah Taylor, a student at Two Rivers.
Aaliyah spoke in front of her classmates on Friday.
She said she hopes lawmakers will take steps to ensure tragedies like mass shootings never happen again.
"If they're not going to make the change, we might have to take matters into our own hands," Aaliyah said.
She thanked social studies teacher John Limeburner for helping make the student-driven walkout a reality.
"I think it’s really amazing that our school has stepped up and given the students the opportunity to take part," Limeburner said.
He said over the last month, they dug deeper into the issue of gun violence by using different teaching tools like debates and research topics.
He added that he is proud of his students for not being silenced by those who have said "they are just kids, what do they know?"
"Our students have taken that message that they don't have the voice and have responded by turning that message on their head and showing what the power of America’s youth can be when they have the energy provided to them and directed," Limeburner said.
The students in East Hartford join thousands of others across the country who walked out of class on Wednesday as part of a national school walkout event.
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