DENVER - Students at McAuliffe International School in Denver were some of the youngest in the city to participate in a walkout protest Wednesday. The students protested against gun violence in schools and honored the victims of the Florida high school shooting last month.
The students formed a giant heart on the field behind the school and sat silently as the names of the 17 people who were killed were read off one by one.
Three students read off the names over a megaphone and then paused for a minute before reading the next. Izzy Carabetta, Elliot Guinness and Stephanie Danahey organized the protests.
The organizers also created t-shirts that have a United States map on the front made out of the names of victims of recent shootings, including Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech. On the back, the t-shirts read, "Thoughts and Prayers, Policy and Change."
"I was on Instagram and I saw a post that said 'thoughts and prayers' and it was crossed out and that's a policy and change underneath. Personally that was really powerful but I think thoughts and prayers should still be recognized because they're really important to us and policy and change are repeated because we can't emphasize this enough -- we need more change," Carabetta said.
Proceeds from the shirts, which are available for purchase, will go to the Giffords Law Center to prevent gun violence.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock showed up to Wednesday's protest and met with the students afterward. He took one of the t-shirts home as well.