On Wednesday, hundreds of students at Essex High School held a walk out demanding action in response to the shooting at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“The reason I am out here today is because this one really struck a chord with me especially because it was in a young school,” said Emma Doran, a senior at EHS. “I have three younger siblings who are in elementary and middle school, and it makes me so terrified.”

Students took time to share their messages in chalk along the school sidewalks, writing messages like “School is supposed to be safe” and “This is unacceptable”.

“I think there is always a fear in everyone’s mind about going to school like it is just really heartbreaking after what happened,” said Ava Schneider. Schneider, like many others, shared a message on the cement. “I wrote that we need more than thoughts and prayers, yes thoughts and prayers to the families out there, but we also need action to be taken.”

Essex Westford School District Superintendent Beth Cobb has been an educator for over 30 years, but is also a parent. Cobb says there are protocols in place to keep students safe. “You know even as a parent I think that is good enough, no it’s not. We can do what we can as a school system, we need to stay together as a community and figure this out as a state and as a country, and figure out how this does not happen again.”

However, with another school shooting, some parents are again worrying about their children’s safety. “It felt devastating and I felt a mix of fear and despair,” said Annemarie Lavalette.

Another parent, Amy Henry, told her kids about what happened on the way to school Wednesday morning. “I told them that a person had gone into a school in Texas and shot and killed 19 kids and two adults,” said Henry. “They were shocked and sad. I told them the kids were right around their ages.”

Henry is among those pleading for a change. “Until something changes drastically in our country, it’s rolling the dice on whether you will see them at the end of the day or not.”