Students throughout the U.S., Orange County take part in protests

Students from across the country participated Wednesday in a National School Walkout to protest gun violence.

They included an untold number from Orange County schools participating in a variety of activities. Some took to the streets outside their campuses, carrying signs and chanting. Others attended special assemblies hosted by schools in an effort to give students a voice while keeping them safely on campus.

The National School Walkout, an event organized following the school shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Fla., began at 10 a.m. across each time zone. It was scheduled to last just 17 minutes, one minute for each person killed in the Florida shooting.

At Washington Middle School in La Habra, approximately 65 students commemorated the victims of the Parkland High School shooting by standing silently in a solidarity circle. Many students held hands, comforted one another and expressed their feelings honestly and openly.

At Imperial Middle School, also in La Habra, the school encouraged students to “walk up” not “walk out,” meaning that students should walk up to peers who often sit alone during lunch, or have few friends. This would make all students feel more included in the school community, school officials said.

Members of Santa Ana High School’s speech and debate team took part in a Skype video discussion later in the day with their counterparts from Nova High School in Broward County, Florida. Separated by more than 2,500 miles, the two classes talked about on-campus violence and potential solutions.

Earlier this week, we posted some questions and answers regarding the legal issues, including possible disciplinary actions, involved with the student walkouts. It’s still unclear whether any local schools took disciplinary actions against students who missed class so they could participate in unsanctioned school events.

Here are reports from the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times highlighting local events.

Meanwhile, students, staff and others took to social media to chronicle the day’s activities.

Tustin High adjusted its bell schedule for Wednesday so interruptions to instruction time would be minimized.

At University High in Irvine, students staged a sit-in.

At San Juan Hills High, students set up 17 empty desks with the names of each victim in the Parkland shooting.

Here are activities from from other campuses countywide: