QUINCY -- About 200 students at Quincy High School walked outside of the school building at 10 a.m. Wednesday to remember the 17 students and teachers who were killed by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., one month ago.
The walkout was one of thousands across the U.S. that happened from 10 to 10:17 a.m.
The QHS students set a 17-minute timer once outside, circled up and held hands or linked arms. They stood in silence for the duration of the walkout, but when the end of it approached, the students read aloud the names of the 17 who died in the Parkland shooting.
"It was awe-inspiring to see everyone together and unified in one thing, especially for a school this size," senior Katie Vogler said. "It's interesting how when a mass shooting like that in Parkland happens, you typically talk about it for two days and then move on. But a month later people are still talking about it.
"The thing we were standing for today was to keep the conversation going. We want people to be aware that what happened was bad, it's still impacting people's lives, and we want our schools to be safe."
Fellow senior Maggie Schutte agreed.
"I wouldn't call this a protest. We did this walkout to remember those who lost their lives," she said. "We're a huge school, but we're like a family. I think seeing everyone holding hands in a circle helped us to see that there's people in school you might not be close to, but you know that if something happened, they have your back."
Principal Jody Steinke said that the walkout was led by the student body as a whole.
"We didn't encourage or discourage this," he said. "It was very respectfully done today."