By | March 15, 2018

Clare Schexneyder, founder of National Stop School Shootings Now, addresses the crowd at a rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

More than 100 students and parents gathered outside Georgia’s State Capitol at noon Wednesday to rally against gun violence.

Hannah Paterson, a freshman at Georgia Tech majoring in biomedical engineering, was part of a walkout early Wednesday morning, joining others across the country at 10 a.m. to remember the students who died in the Parkland shooting.

“It definitely affects me … This could be something that any of us are involved in,” she said.

Paterson said she hadn’t planned to come to the capitol after the walkout because she had class, but after seeing the turnout of students on campus, decided to come down to the state Capitol.

“It really felt important to come and get our message across,” Paterson said.

High school students hold signs at a National Stop School Shootings Now rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol on Wednesday. (Ian Palmer)

As students staged school walkouts, House and Senate Democrats held a press conference at the Capitol in solidarity.

It was billed as a walkout, though neither chamber was in session at the time.

Dozens of lawmakers observed a moment of silence and called on the Georgia General Assembly to take up stricter gun-control measures.

Democratic Rep. Erica Thomas of Austell, said the students protesting were constituents and deserved to have their voices heard.

Several students spoke at the noon rally, calling on legislation to address gun violence at schools.

“Every American generation has suffered through kind sort of scars. For some, it’s been WWII, for some it was Vietnam, for my generation it has been suffering through decades of living in fear as you go to school everyday,” said Katie Jordan, a sophomore at Kennesaw State University.

After the rally, several groups of parents and students went to the Capitol to speak with state legislators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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