Students participate in Westside Walkout in Anderson - FOX Carolina 21

Students participate in Westside Walkout in Anderson

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Students participate in Westside Walkout in Anderson. (March 14, 2018) Students participate in Westside Walkout in Anderson. (March 14, 2018)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Class is in session inside Westside High School in Anderson and outside on a field, where students say they're learning a lot about themselves.

"I think for bringing change, we have to start conversations first- we have to find middle ground," Jonathan Bruce said.

He's a senior at Westside High School and he and other students organized the Westside Walkout in honor of the Parkland Florida shooting victims.

"I was just like shocked about what was going on," Bruce said.

It's their way of showing solidarity for National Walkout Day. Organizers in Florida encouraged students to do just that.

"It was about how our students felt," Noah Austin said.

He attended the event to show his support.

"I know it could happen again and I don't want it to happen again," he said.

Organizers in Florida are asking for a ban on some automatic and semi-automatic guns. They also say they want extensive background checks. However, at Westside High, students say it's not about politics.

"I hope that people can look back and see it's not 'oh all these kids are walking out because they want gun control, but they want safer schools'," Austin said.

They wore the names of school shootings on their backs and hope the message will be heard.

"It could happen at an elementary school, for any reason because it already has happened at an elementary school," Austin said.

In September 2016, investigators say a teenager shot and killed Jacob Hall at Townville Elementary School, which is just 20 minutes from Westside High School.

One student read the names of the victims in Florida while other students released balloons in their honor, as well as one to honor Jacob Hall.

"For me it was a movement and a movement that  brought a lot of people together regardless of what they believe in," Bruce said.

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