BALDWIN — Several students at Baldwin High School made their voices heard along with students throughout the nation on Friday — standing against violence and school shootings by participating in the National School Walkout.

Observed on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, the National School Walkout was a student-led movement to protest congressional failures to take action against gun violence. Many students across the nation walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. to remember those killed because of gun violence and find solutions.

Students met in the high school gym where 18 chairs were set up. Flowers were placed on each chair. Seventeen chairs had the names of students who died in the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14. The 18th chair represented any student in the country who could be a victim of gun violence.

“The reason for the walkout is to recognize students who died in mass shootings,” said high school student Spencer Sabin, who organized the event. “Each victim never got another chance to talk to their family, friends or anyone else they loved and cherished. Without kindness and love, we don’t know what someone will do.”

Students stood in a moment of silence to remember all the victims of school shootings and violence.

“We are raising awareness because we (students) are being ignored by congress and senators,” Sabin said, adding how he participated in the March for our Lives rally in Grand Rapids on March 24. “We all deserve to have our voices heard. Students everywhere are trying to fight for peace.

“We need more security in this school and programs to teach it is OK to be nice to one another. We are here trying to make our school a better environment and more receptive.”

High school student Kendra Washington also offered a few words.

“This walkout today is about taking control of our own lives. We need stricter gun laws. This is something we all should care about,” she said.

Sabin said he personally chose to take on the role of event organizer because he felt students needed to be more aware of the issue.