19 years after school shooting, Columbine students join in nationwide walkout for gun control

PHOTO: Columbine High School student Leah Zunder holds a sign during a National School Walkout to honor the 17 students and staff members killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in Littleton, Colo., on March 14, 2018.PlayRick Wilking/Reuters
WATCH Columbine students join in nationwide walkout for gun control

Among the hundreds of schools taking part in today's National School Walkout to protest against gun violence, the walkout especially hits home for Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in April 1999, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher.

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Though current Columbine students weren't born at the time of the massacre, 16-year-old Rachel Hill told reporters she thinks "it's inspiring" to be a Columbine student because it "inspires us to work harder for change."

"The scale of the walkout is extraordinary," Hill said, adding, "I hope by all of us doing this we can encourage people who can vote to make a difference."

PHOTO: Columbine High School students, led by former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis, walk outside during a National School Walkout to honor the 17 students and staff killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Littleton, Colo., on March 14, 2018.Rick Wilking/Reuters
Columbine High School students, led by former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis, walk outside during a National School Walkout to honor the 17 students and staff killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Littleton, Colo., on March 14, 2018.

PHOTO: Students at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colo., walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, one month after the Parkland high school shootings in Florida.ABC News
Students at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colo., walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, one month after the Parkland high school shootings in Florida.

PHOTO: Students at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colo., walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, one month after the Parkland high school shootings in Florida.ABC News
Students at Columbine High school in Littleton, Colo., walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, one month after the Parkland high school shootings in Florida.

Thousands of students streamed out of schools around the country this morning to call on Congress to pass tighter gun control laws in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people last month.

PHOTO: Students gather on their soccer field during a 17-minute walkout protest at the Stivers School for the Arts, March 14, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio.
SLIDESHOW: PHOTOS: National School Walkout

The event, which began at 10 a.m. across every time zone, was officially scheduled to last 17 minutes -- one minute for each of the victims gunned down in the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But many students are rallying for much longer.

The Columbine students who walked out at 10 a.m. local time today gathered on the school's soccer fields with red, white and blue balloons, according to The Denver Post. They read names of those lost in the Stoneman Douglas and Columbine shootings.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

"There's always the possibility that we'll walk into our schools one day and never walk out," one Columbine student told her fellow classmates during the walkout. "For those who believe we are too young to have opinions on this ... we are a generation who has grown up with mass shootings and we are the ones who have to live through these tragedies. It is up to us to be the change we want to see."

The students also released the balloons for the victims and tied ribbons to a fence at the school.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

PHOTO: Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.Jeffco Public Schools
Columbine High School students walk out of classes to demand stricter gun laws as part of a nationwide protest on March 14, 2018, in Littleton, Colo., one month after the Florida high school shootings.

According to the district, students who chose to participate in the walkout would remain on school grounds and then return to class.

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