‘We Stand with Stoneman’ – Local students stage school walkouts for gun reform

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO - Standing up for safety. Students in the St. Louis area and across the country walked out of school Wednesday to demand stricter gun laws.

Hazelwood West High School students walked out with the message, "We Stand with Stoneman."

Students from high schools to colleges across the country held programs and demonstrations outside of schools, including at Hazelwood Central High School. More than 2,000 students joined the movement and walked out onto their football field, reading the names of the victims and held an hour-long presentation.  They placed white roses on a desk to honor the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Florida.

"We want to show that we are here for this movement and that we support it and we want answers. We want to do something," said Sierra Uko, a student at Oakville High School.

Students walked out of class to protest gun violence.

"Seventeen minutes of silence for the people who lost their lives in the Florida shooting," Uko said.

Before the walkout, Oakville students participated in a letter-writing campaign to send to lawmakers with hopes their voices would be loud enough to be heard.

"I think that we just need to raise awareness about mental health problems and the issues that we have that has caused all of these shootings that have occurred recently," said Katelyn Henry.

"The students came to me shortly after the incident happened in Florida and they wanted to do something to remember the students," said Jan Kellerman, Principal at Oakville High School.

Administrators at both school districts supported the walkout and worked with students to arrange the protest in safe locations on campus.