West Boca High School students send gun control message with 10-mile march to Stoneman Douglas

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - Dozens of West Boca High School students participated in a 10-mile walk out before reaching Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Meanwhile, loved ones gathered at the memorial site to grieve.

There has been a constant silence at the memorial as people continue to pass by to pay their respects.

The students from West Boca High marched across county lines on Tuesday afternoon to send a message that laws need to be changed to keep them safe in school.

“The pain that we’re feeling right now will never be the same as the families’ pain,” said West Boca High School student Maddie Fox. “I want them to know that I did this for them.”

Well into Tuesday evening, parents and students stopped by the memorial outside of Stoneman Douglas High School.

“It feels like a nightmare, and I can’t wake up from it,” said Stoneman Douglas junior Matthew Aguiler. “I knew two people who died. Honestly, no words can describe what happened. Really, it’s just devastating what occurred. It’s just sad.”

Many said prayers and wiped away tears. Others left behind candles, stuffed animals and notes as the Parkland community continues to mourn.

Some came from miles away to show their support. “I was just drawn here. I just kept thinking about it,” said Megan Wright, who is visiting from Michigan. “It’s overwhelming to think that a couple days ago people were running for their lives, and something that’s supposed to be a sacred place is your school.”

Earlier on Tuesday, 7Skyforce HD hovered above as groups of students from the Boca Raton high school walked nearly 11 miles to Stoneman Douglas.

“We can’t just sit in silence; we need to actually take action,” said a student.

They joined mourners who were close to the shooting.

A parent with teenage children said she personally knew 14-year-old shooting victim Alex Schachter. “He’s in my home. He’s in pictures in my house,” said parent Amy. “I just don’t understand, I don’t.”

Ricky Lowe, a parent of a middle school student, said he grieves as a father who lives for his children.

“It’s heart-wrenching. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried just driving by,” Lowe said. “If you have children, you know we live for them. Everything we do is for them.”

Balloons, notes, flowers and stuffed animals could be seen for each life taken in a memorial outside Stoneman Douglas High School.

Tyra Hemans is a student survivor from the shooting and is now pushing for stronger gun control.

“I’ve not been able to actually process a thought without thinking of my friends being gone and how I get to live and they didn’t,” Hemans said. “It’s not fair, but I’m here for them, and I’m gonna fight for them. Me fighting for them is taking charge on gun control.”

Students like Fox are anxiously waiting for their time to vote. “In a little more than a year, I will be able to vote and so will hundreds more of us,” she said. “We are capable of doing so much. Today proves that, so please take your voice, use it today, use it tomorrow. Don’t let the 17 victims die in vain. Honor them by enacting change.”

A gun show scheduled for March 17 and 18 in Fort Lauderdale has been cancelled.

Parents of the student survivors told 7News that they are thankful for the community’s love and support. However, they are concerned about what will happen weeks and months from now.

Staff and teachers are expected to return to campus at 8 a.m. on Friday. On Sunday, there will be a voluntary campus orientation for students and parents from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Classes are scheduled to resume next Tuesday, Feb. 27, but that is not finalized.

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