Retired teacher stands in National Walkout Day solidarity outside of Midlands high school

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Retired teacher Tracy Barnes, says she was compelled in the middle of the night to stand for 17 minutes outside Spring Valley High School on Wednesday morning.

"Woke up in the middle of the night and I said if I don't do something, say something, then I'm part of the problem," Barnes said.

Barnes stood outside the school in solidarity with the thousands of students across the U.S. who walked out of school Wednesday morning in honor of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.

The protests were held for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across the country.

Students at Spring Valley High School, which is in Richland School District Two, walked from class to the gym at 10 AM, according to a parent WIS spoke to outside the school. The parent said the students heard from both the assistant principal and the principal in an assembly in the school's gym.

Meanwhile, Barnes stood at the front entrance of the school on Sparkleberry Lane. She's a retired Richland School District One teacher for 32 years.

"I'm a grandmother and a mother and I have a 13-year-old granddaughter," Barnes said. "And I want her to be able to go to school without worrying that someone is gonna come to her school and shoot her."

Barnes told WIS she wants to see legislators stop taking money from the NRA to fund campaigns, and she wants to see common sense gun reform. She also said she's immensely proud of the students in Parkland for their activism.

"Enough is enough," Barnes said. "And I think these students are going to cause a change."

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