Transcript for Students from across the US participate in walkout
And we begin tonight with the powerful images playing out across this country today. Just as a difficult scene played out inside a Florida courtroom at the same time. Tens of thousands of students staging a massive coordinated protest against gun violence, one month after the shooting rampage killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas high school in parkland, Florida. From parkland, to Littleton, Colorado. Stunts in Los Angeles with a moment of silence, standing right there behind 17 empty chairs. While in that Florida courtroom today, alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz face-to-face with the families of the victims. What his lawyers asked for, and the calls we never heard before. ABC's Victor Oquendo leading us off. Reporter: A sea of students seizing their moment. At 10:00 A.M., classmates from more than 3,000 schools walking out, in solidarity with the victims of the parkland shooting. Saying when it comes to gun violence, they've had enough. What do we want? Gun control. When do we want it? Now! Reporter: In parkland, they flooded onto the football field for 17 minutes. For each of the 14 students and three teachers killed. What was that like for you? It gave me the chills, just looking around at the whole student body on the football field. I'm proud of all of them. Reporter: This playing out as the alleged killer came face-to-face with the parents of the victims. Those parents reduced to tears. A plea of not guilty shall be entered on the defendant's behalf. Reporter: Nikolas Cruz sitting with his head bowed. His lawyers saying he would plead guilty if the death penalty is off the table. Please help, please help. Stoneman Douglas high school. Reporter: This, as we're hearing new chilling 911 recordings from the day of the massacre. Students in hushed voices pleading for help. Please, please, there's people here. There's people, they're all bleeding, they're going to die. Honey, I know. I'm really sorry that you're going through this. But I'm here with you. Stay on the phone. Reporter: And then a teacher. Someone got shot in head, a student is down. You have a student down? Yes. Reporter: The heart-wrenching memories of that day, etched in the minds of the thousands who turned out nationwide. In Washington, D.C., the students turned their backs on the white house and sat in silence. Telling our David Kerley they should not be living in fear. School is a place we should be able to go and feel safe and learn, and not have to fear that something might happen. Reporter: In evanston, Illinois, the teenagers calling their legislators to demand gun reform. I'm calling to request that you take action -- Our parents had wars and we have columbine. Reporter: And there at columbine, where 13 died, a tribute to the victims of both tragedies. On the west coast, 17 empty school desks. Our kayna Whitworth with those feeling heartbreak. Something about the empty desks is just, it really hits home. Reporter: Students here in parkland making the long walk to a memorial, vowing to never forget those they lost. This is just another step. Honestly, this is a statement. We demand change. And Victor Oquendo with us live once again tonight from porkland, Florida. And Victor, as you know, in Washington, they passed a school violence bill in the house, but tonight, critics say it doesn't actually have any gun control measures? Reporter: That's right, David. It's called the stop school violence act. It does not address KGUN control at all. It trains law enforcement officers and school officials and adds security equipment around schools. It passed by an overwhelming majority, but Democrats say it doesn't do enough. David? Victor, thank you. Also at this hour, we are
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