Butler High School students participate in national walkout

MATTHEWS, NC (WBTV) - More than 200 Butler High School students walked out of class Friday to remember the people killed in the Columbine High School shooting 19 years ago.

13 people died when two students opened fire inside the school. Butler High School students say they had to participate. They say enough is enough.

"I walked out for the reason that it's unacceptable," Butler High School Student Ed Lopez said. "I come here to learn. I come to be a better student."

Butler High School students paused for 13 seconds for the lives lost in Columbine and called out the names.  Students also wrote letters to families who have lost loved ones because of gun violence. Students took that assignment seriously.

"I could never imagine how it feels to lose a child or to lose a sibling," Butler High School Student Lesley Martinez said. "If I would ever know they died because of a gun violence, I would be infuriated and I want the families to know that my heart is always with them and I want to grieve with them as well."

Students are ready take the momentum to the next level.  After the event students registered to vote and they were handed out contact information to their Congressmen.

Some students called the lawmakers pushing for funding for anti-violence programs, instating mental health resources and instituting universal background checks.

"You need to look for criminal backgrounds," Lopez said. "Look for everything that can trigger a person."

Students said they feel safe at Butler High School but wish more could be done.

"Make our schools safer by metal detectors," Butler High School Student Desirae Ausbrook said. "More alarm systems. More cameras that are actually effective."

Butler High School principal John LeGrand says there were no issues during the walkout. He also says he would like to help students continue this type of activism.

"The main thing is listening to the kids and listening to their ideas on what they feel like," Butler High School Principal John LeGrand said. "It's going to be what's important to them and their ideas on how I can help to change that."

There were also walkouts at Myers Park High School and in Union County at Marvin Ridge High School.  There were more than 2500 Walkouts Nationwide.

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