Students across the country are marking one month since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting left 17 dead. Today, more than a thousand Concord High students stood outside at 10 a.m., the morning after a snowstorm hit the northeast. It was still snowing lightly as students held 17 minutes of silence to commemorate the 17 killed in Parkland and read the names of those lost.
Senior Jonathan Weinberg was one of the organizers. He says they purposely chose to hold 17 minutes of silence instead of a focusing on a walkout.
“You know I think there’s always those people who think us children are just pawns of big political figures,” Weinberg says. “But I just think the vast majority that come here today would have seen that we didn’t try to impose any political opinion.”
Laila Ruffin, also a senior, says it's important for her to keep commemorating the lives lost.
"As a country we've already moved on, but those people will never be able to,” says Ruffin. “So I just feel like we need to make sure people never forget, because that's the thing, we pay attention to all these events and as time passes they're not as present,” she says.
Ruffin says she's been involved with the feminist movement and environmental conservation rallies, but this is the first time she's ever taken action in response to a school shooting.
Both Ruffin and Weinberg say this will not be the end of their organizing efforts as they prepare to leave their high school days behind.
"I want to know that I did what I could to make things better for future students," Ruffin says.
After a sobering half hour or so, students shuffled back inside to finish out their day of classes.
(This post was updated to include the school's estimate that more than a thousand students were at the rally.)