West Boca High students walk off campus in protest, march 10 miles south to Parkland 

Updated Feb 21, 2018
Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post
West Boca High School students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post)

Hundreds of West Boca High School students walked off of campus this morning and thousands of students at other high school campuses held rallies or remembrances in honor of the 14 students and three adults shot dead last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

West Boca High School students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018. Tenth grade students Daniela Rivas (left) and Joylani Caraballo (right) comfort fellow classmate Pablo Moreno as they sit next to the memorial for Joaquin Oliver, a Venezuelan student killed. They said they are deeply affected because they too had left dangerous countries to seek safety in the United States. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post

The West Boca High students walked off of campus this morning and headed south to Parkland in a show of solidarity with Douglas High students who have called for stronger gun control measures in the wake of the massacre. 

West Boca High is about 10 miles north of Douglas High.

RELATED: Students to board buses for Tallahassee, where they’ll try to change gun laws

The students gathered at first in a school courtyard, where hundreds of students chanted “we want change, we want change.”

Later, the students began streaming down the street toward Parkland, where Douglas High is located. Live footage from television news choppers showed dozens of students walking peacefully along major roads.

Kendrick Hong, a 14-year-old West Boca High freshman, said the school was having a moment of silence for Douglas, which was to last 17 minutes, but kids got frustrated and said, “let’s go!”

Sarah Lopez, a tenth grade West Boca High School student who walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018 cries as she stands in front of a memorial. She said it took her 4 hours to walk there and "there was nothing to compare to the feeling that you can change things". (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post

He said school security tried to stop them but it “just turned into a spontaneous demonstration.” 

“It’s just amazing that all of us just did it.” 

“I just didn’t feel anyone was doing anything about guns,” said Hong, who walked about 4 ½miles before getting a ride to Douglas. 

He said West Boca High Principal Craig Sommer is walking with the kids. 

Hong believes about 90 percent of the school took part in the walk. 

“We are supporting a cause. That’s what so amazing,” said freshman Joey Courtney, 14. 

West Boca High School students walked to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., February 20, 2018. (Melanie Bell / The Palm Beach Post) Photo: Melanie Bell/The Palm Beach Post

Courtney said some teachers are marching with the students “because they don’t feel safe either because of the lack of gun laws.” 

No one should be afraid to go to school,” Hong said. 

Rebeca Rojas, 14, a freshman at West Boca, said: “We have a right to protest. President Trump needs to know that he needs to make a law so that someone can’t get guns so easily.”

FULL COVERAGE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting

At the same time, students at Boca Raton High and Park Vista High west of Boynton Beach held rallies or rememberances on their school campuses.

The public manifestations came as students from Douglas High prepared to board a bus this afternoon for Tallahassee, where they plan to press for changes to Florida’s gun laws.

Check back for updates to this breaking story.