(DES MOINES, Iowa) Hundreds of Des Moines area high school students gathered on the west steps of the capitol today (Friday), as part of a national school walkout event, to protest gun violence in schools.
Students heard from various speakers, who offered gun violence statistics. At least two organizations, including Progress Iowa, and an environmental activist group had tables set up, with clip boards, encouraging students to register to vote, and asking for student names and contact information.
The event was peaceful, although Iowa State Troopers were on hand to handle a few minor crowd control issues, and help a student who needed medical attention.
The Des Moines School District issued a statement, related to the walkout, indicating students would not be punished for attending, but would be subject to unexcused absences for the classes they missed today.
The event was timed to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine High School, which left 13 people dead in Littleton, Colorado.