HOUSTON – Most students in the Houston area are out of school Wednesday because of spring break, but some still made plans to participate in the scheduled nationwide walkouts to protest gun violence.
Nearly 3,000 protests were planned at schools across the country, one month after 17 people were gunned down inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The protests, which are organized in part by Empower, the youth wing of the Women’s March, call for students to walk out of class for 17 minutes beginning at 10 a.m. local time.
In Harris County, three events were planned, according to the Empower website. Two of them were scheduled to happen at Westchester Academy for International Studies and Tomball Memorial High School.
The third event was scheduled to happen at Linkwood Park in southwest Houston, but no one was at the park when KPRC2 arrived to cover the event.
Sky2 flew over The Emery/Weiner School on Stella Link Road, where just after 10 a.m., at least 100 people could be seen gathered on the football field. Some students stood in a line in front of bleachers filled with people.
A few students stepped up in pairs to introduce and honor each of the victims who died in the mass shooting in Parkland.
"Recalling the fact that people, who were lost, were people to begin with is the most the important thing that we could do throughout this whole process," said Ryan Bronston, student body president and high school organizer.
"Last night me and my friends decided all of us would wear orange because it's the color of the movement and it's just really all of the schools coming together and all saying that this is a thing happening," said Noa Strauss, middle school organizer. "We might disagree on how to solve it, but something needs to be done."
About 30 minutes after the protest began, people could be seen filing back into the school.
Thanks to a donor, 30 students at The Emery/Weiner School will have an opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for the "March for Our Lives" protest on March 24.
An art class is also planned at Maestro Riccardo Velez Art Studio on FM 565 North in Baytown, where people will be encouraged to create posters and send letters to Congress.
Needville Independent School District Superintendent Curtis Rhodes garnered national attention when he threatened to suspend students who participated in the walkouts with a three-day suspension. Students in the district are out of school for spring break, as well.
No events in Needville were listed on the Empower website.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.