(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Students in Southern Colorado joined a nationwide movement and walked out in protest of gun violence in schools on Wednesday, April 5. They advocated for school safety and demanded action from lawmakers.

Sand Creek High School students said they are fed up with “thoughts and prayers.” At 12:00 p.m. hundreds of students walked out of class and onto the streets to take a stand for their safety.

Students lined up across from the school with their handmade signs that read, “When will enough be enough,” “I shouldn’t be afraid to come to school,” and “This is a school zone, not a war zone,” passionately chanting as cars drove by honking in support.

“Nobody wants to be scared when they go to school and I know that I don’t really feel safe at school,” said Cheyenne Garcia, a junior at Sand Creek High School and organizer of the protest.

Just a few weeks ago, Sand Creek High School had its own scare after one student got arrested when they were found carrying a loaded handgun on campus.

“It’s very scary going to school and being afraid of getting shot, you know, and there are so many school shootings nowadays, it’s like you don’t know if it’s going to happen to us next,” said Mylee Milton, a freshman at Sand Creek High School.

In 2023 there were 19 school shootings. The most recent being at a high school in Denver and an elementary school in Nashville – which happened within one week of each other.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American teens and children surpassing car accidents in 2020.

“So many kids have died this year and it just needs to stop,” said Garcia.

The principal and campus director of Sand Creek High School, Amy Sanchez-Martinez, said they encourage students to use their voices.

“The students today have come with a call to action for the community… They want to be heard, and as they’re becoming adults, it’s important that they learn how to do so,” said Sanchez-Martinez.

Around 50 students walked out at Pueblo East High School where students are called for action by lawmakers.

“We need stricter gun laws in our communities because, you know, we don’t need someone to come into our school with an assault rifle and just start shooting up the place,” said Devin Klock, a sophomore at Pueblo East High School and organizer of his school’s protest.

These were only a couple out of hundreds of walkouts happening this week across the country, coordinated through Students Demand Action.

Thousands of students marched out of their classrooms nationwide demanding action on gun violence.