WASHINGTON - Principals had asked students not to leave school for safety reasons. In a letter to families, the principal of Bethesda-Chevy Chase said Wednesday was scheduled as a normal school day and that attendance will be taken in each class. She said she wanted to work with students to plan a demonstration at a time when class instruction is not disrupted.
However, students tell FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald, "What is the point of going to our classes, if we don't feel safe in our classrooms?"
"Of course, our principal would want us to be organized and work with the school, but that's not the point of a protest. The point of a protest is to be disruptive," said Sofia Saidi, Bethesda-Chevy-Chase High School student.
Students at several local high schools took their demands for stricter gun laws to Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Students at Montgomery Blair, Richard Montgomery, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase High Schools organized a walkout that began around 9:30 a.m.
Hundreds of teens left class, boarded the Metro and marched to the U.S. Capitol where they rallied holding signs that read "It's Out Right To Feel Safe In School," and "Mr. Pres. How Many More Kids will Die?"
#Developing @Fox5DC: Several hundred students from Montgomery County Public Schools who walked out of classes this morning are now rallying at The White House for gun control. School officials tell Fox 5 they will be given an unexcused abesebce for leaving school grounds. pic.twitter.com/ppuyiYUl81— Tom Fitzgerald (@FitzFox5DC) February 21, 2018
"They really didn't want us to come out, but we had to come out and show our support. We have to show that we really care about this," said Tyler David, a student at Einstein High School.
Students from the Parkland, Florida, high school where 17 people were killed in a shooting rampage met with lawmakers and other state leaders in the state's capital, where they called for gun safety legislation.
Parents and survivors of the shooting were joined by Sandy Hook community members as well in a listening meeting with President Trump, where they voiced their concerns and spoke of their experiences, demanding changes to how schools and the country handle gun violence.