YATESVILLE, Pa. -- Just before two o’clock on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, Pittston Area High School students walked out of school after an assembly on non-violence.
All 1,100 students walked out onto the school lawn.
“It's really important that we stand up for ourselves, and voice our opinions and what we think needs to change in schools for us to feel safe because we should be worried about things like prom and things not like our safety,” Senior Alyssa DeLeo said.
They wanted to remember the victims of the Columbine school shooting on April 20, 1999, which happened before these students were even born.
“When people talk about school shootings it's always Columbine, Columbine, Columbine but it's still happening now. We can't forget that it happened recently. It's still happening and we need to take account for that,” Senior Vito Quaglia said.
Students worked with teachers for weeks to plan the walk out. The administration supported them through it all.
“If they can start in this time in their lives and get involved in things I think it's a great thing,” Superintendent Kevin Booth said.
“I feel as though at a time like this where violence is happening all around us, it's important to stand up and have a voice,” Senior Nick Barbieri said.
Before walking out, they spent much of the day learning ways to make everyone feel included.
It was only fitting that they end the day by forming a giant heart on the school lawn.
“We have a lot of teachers that everyone can go to. I think we do a pretty good job of making everyone feel like they can talk to anyone, we're very open and hopefully everyone feels like they have someone to relate to them,” DeLeo said.
Students didn’t have any specific policy changes in mind to stop these school shootings, but they do hope other students learned a thing or two about how to stand up against bullies.