Students across Illinois leave class to protest gun violence

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CHICAGO (AP) - Thousands of students at schools across Illinois participated in a national walkout to demand action on gun violence.

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Students in places like the Chicago area, Decatur, Pekin, Quincy and Madison left classes Wednesday morning. The walkouts come after a gunman killed 17 students last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida. Students were urged to leave class at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes - one minute for each of the dead in Florida.

In the Chicago area, students wore orange and carried signs while shouting "Enough!" Barrington High School senior Syd Bakal said teens "are tired of lockdown drills, fear and perpetual mourning."

At West Aurora High School about 2,000 students walked to the football stadium where they formed the words "never again." In Decatur one protest sign read "Protect Us!"