A picture speaks a thousands words. And when thousands of students across the U.S. left their classrooms on Wednesday, March 14, they made their voices heard—and the history-making moment was captured with some very powerful photos.
The National School Walkout was organized to protest gun violence in America, as well as to honor the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida. Exactly one month after the tragedy, students put down their books and pencils, and took to the hallways, parking lots, athletic fields in their communities to stand in solidarity with the victims and their families.
The walkouts began at 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and continued throughout the day. Whether the photos were snapped by students, media or onlookers, there were many images that showed the power of student unity, grief and a desire to speak up.
Here are 13 of the most striking images caught on camera from the National School Walkout.
1. Taking A Knee
Students at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia, faced disciplinary action from administration if they left their classrooms. Despite this warning, more than 100 students in the school went into the hallways and got down on one knee to show their support for the cause.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 14, 2018
2. Spelling Out Their Message
At Bergen Tech in Teterboro, New Jersey, students came together to show Marjory Stoneman High School that they stand together with them. They lined up to spell out the phrase “#NeverAgain” in this dramatic photo.
— BT Student Council (@BergenTechSC) March 14, 2018
3. A Simple Declaration
Students at Crestwood High School in Michigan gathered outside to share a powerful one-word message with the world.
4. Gathering For Peace
These students formed a colorful peace sign on their school playground.
Not one more child lost to gun violence was the message in this powerful photo of 7,000 pairs of shoes on the lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Each pair represents a child killed by gun violence since the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
6. Empty School Desks Speak Volumes
This simple, yet moving tribute was put on display outside of Notre Dame High School in New Haven, Connecticut.
— Dan Milano (@DanMilanoHere) March 14, 2018
The simple message written in the sand is “#MSDStrong,” a hashtag started after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas school to honor the resilience of the people who survived that tragedy.
8. Standing Up By Lying Down
Many other schools showed their respects and shared their feelings in powerful ways. Some students opted to lie down on the ground to demonstrate their opposition to gun violence.
9. The Power Of Grief
Students in Chicago openly showed their grief, not only for the Florida victims, but for the violence in their own city. This photo shows students from Tilden Career Community Academy comforting one another after the moment of silence.
10. The Center Of The Tragedy
At the school where this movement got its start, students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas took time to mark the solemn anniversary.
11. Coming Together For Change
Students at Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio, not only walked out of classes, but also participated in a number of activities, including letter-writing and banner-making for students at Marjory Stoneman High School and a bake sale to raise funds for victims.
— Lakota East High (@EAST_HAWKS) March 14, 2018
12. Young Kids Get Involved
The protests and walkouts were not reserved for just high school students. Younger children took a stand as well.
13. One Day Of School
This student used her poster to put the missed classes into perspective.
14. Combatting Violence With Kindness
Some are being proactive about changing behaviors close to home to make things better at their own schools.
Sixth and seventh graders from Eckstein Middle School are handing out fliers that have 17 acts of kindness you can do in memoriam of the lives lost in Parkland, Florida #NationalWalkoutDay #Seattle pic.twitter.com/bGhTgJdN6J
— nathalie graham (@gramsofgnats) March 14, 2018