Students stage protest against school violence

(TOLEDO) - Hundreds of students voluntarily marched outside of Notre Dame Academy Friday.

Many held signs promoting "Student Advocates for Safe Schools" which was formed after the February 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Students from the all-girls school in Toledo called for an end to school violence including the protest followed by a prayer vigil. Senior Mary Gerhardinger said "this is a way to make sure that students realize that this is impactful in their own lives, to bring it closer to home and more personal. So it's not this lofty, theoretical idea of school shootings happening, but rather something that affects school communities, and specifically can affect ours."

13abc's Tony Geftos reports that not all of the students at Notre Dame Academy took part in the protest. But those who chose to skip the protest met up with the others for a prayer service that followed the demonstration.

Next Thursday, 13abc and The Blade will present a live forum on school violence. A panel including experts from the fields of mental health, school administration, gun rights and gun control advocates and law enforcement will discuss solutions during the 7:00pm forum at Owens Community College. A pre-ticketed audience that includes students and faculty members will be part of the town hall forum which will be broadcast on 13abc and 13abc.com.