LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – About half of the student population, some 300 students, walked out of classes on Wednesday at Lancaster Mennonite.
It was part of the National School Walkout, a national movement started after the school shooting in Florida where 17 people were killed.
“There is a problem in this country that we have a system that allows students, on a weekly basis, to get killed in class,” Lancaster Mennonite junior Ashton Clatterbuck said.
The move was meant to be a sign of unity.
Clatterbuck organized the rally at the private Christian school.
“As the leader of this, I really wanted to make it more about where students are,” he said. “I want them to be empowered to stand up for what they believe in.”
The rally which took students and administrators outside lasted 17 minutes. Each minute was for a victim of the shooting.
Kylie Dagit, a freshman, read a poem during the rally.
“Standing here as kids, we no longer feel safe at school,” she told the crowd.
Students who participated read quotes, poems, and sang “We Shall Overcome”.
“We need to be heard and we need change,” senior Shaolin Gardner said. “We need to feel safe.”
“We needed to speak up and our school needed to be part of this movement because we are students who are directly affected,” Clatterbuck said. “We watch legislators. We watch them not act and not change things that need to be changed for our safety.”
School administrators said they supported the students who took part.
Two police officers were present during the rally.