Local students take part in nationwide walkout

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - It's the biggest demonstration yet of the student activism following the death of 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida one month ago as students across the country participate in a walkout. Several stateline are high schools walked out Wednesday morning.

About 100 students at Rockford East High School protested for the national school walkout at exactly 10 a.m. They made their message clear by chanting 'enough is enough' and 'we want change keep your money.' Students and those who helped coordinate the protest spoke about why a change in gun laws is so important.

"This is about life or death and it goes over party lines, this isn't party lines. This is if you believe in safety for these kids, then you have to support them whether you're Republican whether you're Democrat, you support them and their message," said student walkout advisor Melissa Champion.

It's estimated between 100 and 150 Hononegah students joined the nationwide protest marching from the school to the football field. Some students were carrying signs supporting stronger gun legislation while a smaller group of students gathered in support of current gun laws. Like most of the school walkouts a moment of silence was observed and after 17 minutes the students went back to school.

There was not a walkout at Winnebago High School. Instead, students there attended an assembly on school violence and safety. Area lawmakers and law enforcement were invited to have an open discussion with both middle and high school students about gun legislation and how to keep schools safe.