Some Bay Area students joined the National School Walkout today to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting to demand stricter gun laws and an end to gun violence.
Student activists in the Bay Area and around the country have been pushing for gun control measures since the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
"No more silence, end gun violence," was one chant heard outside Encinal Junior and Senior High School in Alameda.
About 100 students took part in a rally in front of the school, where student speakers told personal stories about the toll gun violence had taken on them.
"Gun violence has been a part of my life since I was born," 16-year-old Ronnie Coleman told his classmates, explaining that his grandmother, brother and father had all been shot.
"It's time to show them we're stronger together than alone, because our future depends on it" he went on. "So you decide whether you want to sit back and watch, or whether you want to be part of it."
After the rally some students went back to class, while others marched a couple of miles to Rock Wall Wine Company, where local business leaders were meeting with Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer and City Council members.
When they arrived they held a "die-in." Students were lying down and holding photos of people killed because of gun violence. They put a special emphasis on those killed in officer-involved shootings.
When students tried to enter the winery they were told only a few could go in. After a bargaining session, the mayor and city leaders came out to hear from students.
Sixteen-year-old Honestie Smith told them her cousin had been shot and killed. "I don’t want any more prayers," she said. "I want change. I want us to be heard. I want to know when I grow up my kids have a future where they are safe."
"We need to talk about police brutality," student leader Lily Conable told the city leaders. "We need to talk about racially biased shootings. And if we aren't, there sure as hell is something wrong."
She said students had been left out of political conversations for too long. "We need you to listen to us," she said. "We need your power, because you have it."
Some Bay Area schools that didn't participate in walkouts opted to hold actions on campus instead, writing and calling legislators, or holding voter registration drives or class discussions.
The walkout began at 10 a.m. in each time zone, and organizers said that over 2,600 walkouts were planned – at least one in each state. In some places, students faced potential disciplinary action for participating.
NPR contributed to this report.