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story.lead_photo.caption Students at Little Rock's Central High School participate in a walkout Wednesday, March 14, 2018, in solitary with victims of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting last month. - Photo by Brandon Riddle

Hundreds of students Wednesday participated in a walkout at Little Rock’s Central High School, demanding that action be taken against gun violence after a deadly Florida school shooting last month.

The demonstration, part of a larger nationwide event, came a month after 17 people — 14 students and three staff members— were fatally shot Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

By 9:55 a.m., students had positioned themselves in front of Central High School’s fountain in protest. Peaceful chants broke out soon after, some of which included “books not bullets” and “enough is enough.”

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Photos by Brandon Riddle

One of those students, student body president Erin Farmer, called upon her classmates to stand with Parkland and find solutions to gun violence and make schools safer.

“We should not have to take classes on how to dodge bullets. We are kids. We are supposed to come here and learn,” Farmer, a senior, said.

Several of the students hoisted up signs as they stood near the steps of the historic school, each with a message in solidarity of Parkland students.

At the end of the walkout, white balloons were released in honor of each of the Parkland shooting victims.

Students, at the signal of a bell and loud-speaker announcement, walked back into the school within 30 minutes and resumed classes.

In a letter, Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore called the demonstrations, so long as they are appropriately supervised, “an important opportunity to educate our students about the democratic process in action and the right to peacefully demonstrate differing views.”

District spokeswoman Pamela Smith said students from other schools were also allowed to participate in the nationwide walkout event.

Read Thursday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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  • Denisenez
    March 14, 2018 at 12:12 p.m.

    Anthony Bland added 3 new photos.

    Today, a monumental event took place at my alma mater and my children school. The mighty J.A. Fair High School exemplified how we as citizens of our cities, states, and nation must take a stand for what’s right. Students were unified and presented outstanding decorum. Violence continues to be a devastating and destructive disease destroying our communities. To all of the families from Florida and across our great nation, that have been affected by this disease and are continue to fight against gun violence we are standing and fighting with all of you. #wareaglesagainstviolence

  • FireEyes
    March 14, 2018 at 1 p.m.

    It is sad to see such misguided, brainwashed children being used to fuel a leftist liberal anti Constitutional agenda.

    The answer to the end of ALL violence is a nation turned back to the Bible and Jesus Christ. Until that day, I will fight with every fiber of my being to keep our FREEDOMS as granted by the Constitution.

    PS: If I were a teacher today and even one student was involved, said student would get an F for the day with no makeups allowed. If I were a parent, no child of mine would be in that event because they would be raised to know a con when they see it.

  • JustsayMoe
    March 14, 2018 at 1:05 p.m.

    We must unite against incompetent law enforcement and school administration!! #waragainstincompetence

  • Packman
    March 14, 2018 at 1:32 p.m.

    A tremendous student voice that needs to be heard is that of Florida survivor Kyle Kashuv. Young Mr. Kashuv is wise way beyond his years.
    Hey Denisenez - Appreciate your passion. Considering a demographic that accounts for less than 5% of the population (black males between the ages of 15 and 25 residing in a large inner city) account for over 50% of the gun violence over the past 10 years (per the CDC and FBI), what will be the first step in your fight?

    Also, considering less than 2% of gun violence in the US over the past 10 years has been committed with AR-15/sporting rifles and almost 70% with handguns (according to the CDC and NSSF), what will be your second step? #gunsarenttheproblem.

  • Foghorn
    March 14, 2018 at 1:33 p.m.

    Outstanding! Suddenly the future looks brighter after all.

  • 23cal
    March 14, 2018 at 1:45 p.m.

    FireEyes sez, "I will fight with every fiber of my being to keep our FREEDOMS as granted by the Constitution" He sure doesn't sound like he's fighting for the FREEDOMS of speech, petition, and assembly exemplified by the schoolkids.
    He also sounds like a theocratic religious fanatic, as well as someone whom we should all be glad isn't a teacher because of his willingness to abuse the position to wreak vengeance on people who don't buy his brand of ideological bull shift by penalizing them academically with an "F".
    He sez, "If I were a parent, no child of mine would be in that event because they would be raised to know a con when they see it." Curious to know how he would plan to teach the con he clearly is unable to discern.

  • 3WorldState1
    March 14, 2018 at 1:50 p.m.

    And yet when were were most “Christian” we did the most dispicable of human actions. We have become a better country by following our secular constitution. Not our religions.
    Good for these kids. Last I checked the constitution gave us a right to regulate fire arms. One reason why Fireside is not a teacher. He has zero concept of the constitution.

  • malice06220956
    March 14, 2018 at 1:59 p.m.

    Here's hoping places wake up and secure their buildings and take down signs that say "gun free zone" - even if they are, there must be doubt in a shooter's mind. These miscreants go where they know they will meet no resistance.

  • hah406
    March 14, 2018 at 2 p.m.

    Fireeyes, you conveniently ignore the fact that this movement was created by and for the kids DURING THE SHOOTING! Or did you fail to see the live streamed videos from inside the school during the gunfire? These kids aren't misguided or brainwashed. They know a con when they see it, and the con is the NRA buying politicians so the gun industry can sell more guns. All rights have limitations, and we need to limit who can possess weapons through universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, and bans on the mentally ill possessing weapons.
    Packman, you are correct in one sense, however this is specifically about mass shootings and schools. Most of those have been done with AR-15 style rifles, which are based on an original fully automatic design built for military killing purposes. They are not sporting weapons unless you are hunting humans. Sport hunting with them is a secondary use. Inner-city gang violence, one on one shootings, etc. with handguns is a very separate issue to that of mass shootings.

  • TimberTopper
    March 14, 2018 at 2:01 p.m.

    FireEyes, LOL! may I say that I'm certainly glad you are not a teacher or a parent, as that might be more responsibility than you can handle. Us adult, gun owners, servers in this country's military, will assure you that no one is coming to take you gun away from you. However, we would like for you to read and understand the Constitution of The United States of America. It doing that you just might become a better citizen of this great nation. That is if you are interested.