Columbine High School releases balloons for shooting victims

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LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — Hundreds of students at Columbine High School left class Wednesday to protest gun violence and honor the victims of the worst high school shooting since the Colorado massacre nearly 19 years ago.

A few of the roughly 300 students who joined the nationwide walkout held homemade signs, including one that said, "Enough is Enough." They held red, white and blue balloons and released them as names were read of the 17 people killed a month ago at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"This is Columbine and what happened is a tragedy and what happened at Parkland was also a tragedy," said Leah Zundel, a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine. "And we cannot deal with kids having tragedies anymore who are afraid to go to school. Ever. We should never go to school in fear of our lives or in fear of anything."

The teenagers also released balloons as the names of the 13 victims of the Columbine shooting in 1999 were read and then observed a moment of silence.

Columbine junior Kaylee Tyner said she and her fellow students have grown up watching more tragedies occur and asking why.

"We just want to show that students across America are standing with them and that it's not only Florida that's pushing for change, not only Parkland, that is everyone in America who is, not just asking for change, but demanding it," she said.

Elsewhere in Colorado, Marjory Stoneman students spoke to students who walked out at Fairview High School in Boulder. Hundreds of students from some Denver schools left class and walked to the state Capitol.

They cheered as Gov. John Hickenlooper addressed them with a bullhorn.

"The big part to remember, if you're really going to succeed ... and I have a feeling you might, you got to get involved in getting people elected. You've got to make sure that your voices are heard all the time," the Democratic governor said.

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