How National School Walkout Day impacts attendance

The thought of having an unexcused absence on record didn't change the minds of hundreds of students who decided to walk out of class.

Many of them showed up at the state capitol, demanding action on gun control.

“The bigger deadlier weapons just shouldn't be allowed,” said Daniela Miro-Rivera, Westlake High School student.

Miro-Rivera is in Eanes ISD. Her district says walking out is inexcusable, unless she gets a note from a parent, which would make it a personal excuse absence. She would get make up work for the day.

“Some of my teachers knew a lot of people weren't going to be here. There were other teachers who wanted to require students to stay in their class,” she said.

“I think it's important the kids know they won't be punished when they congregate and express their opinions,” said Rosa Rivera, Daniela’s mom.

Austin ISD's policy is a bit different. If students were absent within the 10-11 a.m. hour for high school and earlier for middle school, they'd be counted inexcusably absent for the day, but it was a risk many didn't mind taking.

“An unexcused absence is nothing compared to the difference they're making in our community,” said Casey Davis, Austin ISD teacher.

Davis said she wasn’t concerned about missing work because she had a substitute.

“They didn't really give us any information on whether or not we'd be penalized. They didn't really comment on it. We just kind of took care of our schedules and took the day,” said Davis.

Austin ISD says absences not only affect student success, but every day one student is absent, it costs them $45 in revenue from the state. FOX 7 ran into not only Austin and Eanes students.

Jennifer Staller and her child came from Round Rock, who has said kids would get unexcused absences and could face disciplinary action. They didn't mind  the risk to be at the capitol.

“It’s very important for a parent, especially of a high schooler…for her concerns, but for my concerns,” said Staller. Austin ISD is expected to release the total numbers on Monday.