HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Some students in Hanover County took part in The National School Walkout despite the school system's announcement that it could distract other students who were taking Standards of Learning tests. For that reason, and safety concerns, Hanover school officials asked students to not leave the building Wednesday.
But at Atlee High School, on Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville, right at 10 a.m., a small group of students walked outside and were told to go back inside by a school administrator.
A few moments later, a larger group of more than 20 students emerged from the front door, accompanied by school staff.
The group stood quietly by the flag pole in reverence to the Florida school shooting victims.
The Atlee High School walkout was organized by students on social media who urged classmates taking their SOLs to remain in school and finish their tests.
Student organizer Dana Heiter said she and others who took part in the walkout got push back from classmates who disagreed with their stance on stricter gun control laws.
Heiter wanted to make clear the student activists were not going away.
"I registered to vote the day I turned 18," she said. "We know that our voices have power, and that our votes count."