Hundreds of Austin ISD students 'walkout' to protest gun violence

"Students should not be afraid to walk into school doors. We think that the gun age should be raised because we think it's crazy that a 19-year-old can go buy a gun but can't even go in a bar and buy a beer," said one student at Bailey Middle School Friday morning.

In the thick fog and light drizzle, Bailey Middle School students walked out -- make that ran out -- to protest gun violence Friday morning.

"I started from telling everyone 'let's do this' and they told me 'this is a stupid idea no one's going to do this!' And look everyone is here and everyone is together," said 8th grader Aloura Garza.

Garza says she organized the event.

"The school has told us to stay out here for 17 minutes and if not we get ISS for 3 days or worse suspension and I think that one person's life is more than one minute, who's with me?" Garza shouted.

Austin ISD sent FoX 7 a copy of a letter the Bailey Middle School Principal sent out Thursday saying the students will be allowed to protest for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 students and teachers who lost their lives in Florida. "Please talk with your students about the importance of getting back to class to complete the balance of the day."

"I'm not only a teacher here but my daughter is a 6th grade student here as well and she participated today so it was really exciting for me for the two of us to be able to experience our first amendment rights," said Bailey teacher Brooke Pruett.

Bailey was only the first walkout on Friday.

Students also let their voices be heard outside of O. Henry Middle School and Anderson High School.

Ever since the Florida shooting, the conversation about arming certain teachers has come up again. Only teachers who would volunteer to do it.

During Thursday's Akins High School lockdown, parent Dianna Carroll talked about that.

"It should not be a gun free zone, that's like a big neon sign saying 'come here we're helpless, sitting ducks...come in!' I promise you there are teachers that would be happy to take a CHL class and carry with them if they were permitted," Carroll said.

But Bailey teacher Pruett says that wouldn't work for her.

"I think that's really scary. I personally am not a gun owner so I feel like it would be strange. When I went into the profession of teaching I definitely never thought that I would be forced to have a weapon in my classroom that goes against everything that I personally believe in," Pruett said.

"I think it would make me feel safe but for some people it won't.," said Bailey student Andrea Garza.

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