BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As students all across the country and in our nation's capital walked out of class Wednesday, students in Schuylkill County decided to sit in.
"It was very emotional," student Gracie Orosco said. "Once I saw them all flooding in at the same time, I teared up a little bit because it really put into perspective the effect you can have on people."
About 500 students at North Schuylkill Junior/Senior High School gathered in the school's cafeteria for a sit-in. 17 students lead the demonstration, one to represent each person lost in the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Flordia last month.
The students tell Newswatch 16 they chose a sit-in so they could connect with their fellow students without involving politics.
"People tend to stray away from things that are political, so we wanted to use this as a positive change to say that students do have a voice," student Ashley Teter said.
This isn't the first time the students helped out the families of the shooting victims. They sold shirts to raise money for their funeral expenses.
"I didn't get a shirt until about the third day that they were selling because they were just selling out like crazy," Teter said.
Faculty members supported the sit-in.
"Our kids are absolutely fabulous," principal Ken Roseberry said. "Something like this didn't even make me nervous. I knew they'd never walk out the building. I knew if they did this, it would be something respectful."
In addition to the sit-in, the students have also challenged one another to do random acts of kindness over the next 17 days. They've put up a banner in their cafeteria so they can document all of their good deeds.