TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Students at Catalina Foothills High School took part in Walkout Wednesday, a national movement aimed at protesting gun violence.
At 10 a.m. on March 14, participating students were scheduled to silently walk out of their classrooms and meet at a plaza on campus.
They were to remain there for 17 minutes, one minute for each victim of the Parkland, FL, shooting on Feb. 14.
Students participating were encouraged to talk about gun legislation and school safety. Aidan Barg, one of the students who organized the walkout, says he wanted their voices to be heard.
"It really affects us personally. I mean at school we should have the right to not fear guns and fear being shot. So we really believe that it's an important issue and it's ever present now because every time on the news we see it we feel and we could get the sense that it could happen to us too," he said.
The school organized a moment of silence at 10 a.m. but inside classrooms. Barg said that wasn't enough and said students need to speak up if they want change.
"We have to recognize that we have voices as citizens and our voices matter to the politicians we are the people that keep them in office and our opinions are what they should listen to," he said.
After classes are over, school staff also planned to host a silent gathering. Students interested were to meet at the plaza where a bell would be rung 17 times in honor of the Florida victims.
School staff sent parents a letter about the events taking place. It reads in part:
"Catalina Foothills School District supports each student's constitutional right to peaceably assemble to free expression."
The note, however, did not mention the student-led walkout.
Tucson News Now reached out to the Catalina Foothills School District who said they were aware of the walkout and added students who participate will not be disciplined.
Students across southern Arizona planned to join the protest.
At Cholla High School, students were to part in a peaceful walk to the amphitheater in third period. The color guard was scheduled to present flags, and the victims' names would be read before a moment of silence. Students were encouraged to wear black.
Tucson News Now also learned that each Catholic school within the Diocese of Tucson came up with its own commemoration.
Newly appointed Bishop Edward Weisenburger was to show his support at St. Augustine High School.
Students at other schools including Palo Verde and Sabino were to meet on their football fields.
Students at Tucson High were invited to the auditorium for a discussion about the violence.
These are just a few schools that took part today and the Tucson Unified School District said students will not be disciplined for taking part.