Students gather at Iowa Capitol to protest gun violence

Students in the Des Moines area gathered at the state Capitol to protest gun violence.

Hundreds of students converged outside the statehouse Friday, shortly after some walked out of nearby schools. Some in the crowd held signs demanding gun control.

The event featured speeches from students and candidates seeking state office. It was part of nationwide walkouts and protests on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, that left 13 people dead.

A similar event outside the statehouse was held last month as part of the national youth movement that’s emerged after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February.

Some students at the Iowa Capitol said their school administrators were supportive of the walkouts, allowing them to receive an excused absence.