Students across the country are planning to walk out of their classrooms next week to protest gun violence.
On Friday, Clark Montessori got an early start on the movement. High school students decided to have the walkout early because classes are not in session next week. At 1:30 p.m., one step at a time, student after student walked out of school and lined up on the sidewalk on Erie Avenue. Some held signs, others held hands, all making a stand to do their part to bring change.
Anna Hattemer, a junior at the school, organized the event after the Parkland shooting.
"I remember talking to students and they were talking about how discouraged they were and I wanted to do something. I wanted to bring hope to their lives and I wanted to do something more than sitting in the classroom talking about my feelings," said Hattemer.
Some students pointed out with the messages on their signs that the protest isn't a political issue for them. One sign read, "THIS ISN'T LEFT OR RIGHT it's LIFE or DEATH."
Several drivers showed their support as they passed by the students standing outside by honking their horns.
Around 200 students participated. Hattemer says the outcome was better than she imagined.
"I actually, like, chocked up and I started crying a little bit. It meant a lot, realizing that students can do something," she said.
Not all schools in the Cincinnati area are participating in the National Walkout. The superintendent for Northwest Local Schools says they will not allow students to miss valuable class time, but students will be able to express their concerns in non-disruptive ways like writing letters or emails. Area Catholic schools are also keeping students indoors, opting for a prayer service instead.
"Anytime young people want to voice their opinion they should be encouraged to do so in a constructive manner and I think today is a perfect example of what a constructive manner looks like that empowers young people to raise their voices," said Mike Moroski, a member of the Cincinnati Public School Board.
The National Walkout will be held on March 14. The demonstrations are expected to start at 10 a.m. and will last at least 17 minutes to recognize each person killed in Parkland.