Students at a Central Florida high school walked out of class on Friday as part of a protest — but they weren’t pushing for gun control. Instead, they were showing their support for the Second Amendment.
The walkout occurred at Rockledge High School weeks after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people.
Several students at Rockledge High School participated in the nationwide “March for Our Lives” walkout weeks before, which openly advocated for stricter gun control laws. The politicizing of the Parkland shooting apparently left some pro-gun students feeling silenced.
That’s why Anna Delaney Chloe Deaton decided to organize their own rally in support of gun rights.
“I’m pro-Second Amendment. I wouldn’t mind deeper background checks, of course, but the Second Amendment will not be infringed upon,” Delaney told WFTV.
Students held American flags and hand-made signs, one of which that read, “Average response time 911 call: 23 minutes. The response time of a .357: 1400 feet per second.”
Deaton echoed her classmate, saying Americans shouldn’t be forced to give up their rights “because someone else does something wrong.”
Roughly 75 students joined together for the 20-minute pro-gun protest at Rockledge High School. Their protest looked a little different, Florida Today reported:
About 75 students, according to a head count by school administrators, walked onto the school’s track carrying the American flag and signs that said “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and “I support the right to bear arms.” The event lasted about 20 minutes and then students returned to class.
After the playing of the national anthem and “God Bless America” over the loudspeakers, she told the group of students, “We were built on certain rights and that was one of the original rights, that we should have the right to bear arms.”
Rockledge principal Vickie Hickey said officials handled the pro-gun protest the same way they handled the gun control walkouts last week, acknowledging they are both examples of students exercising their free speech.