Rather than walking out, students at Winnebago High School are raising their voices and looking for answers from local leaders about how to tackle the issue of school safety.
"I think the forum was a better way, instead of walking out, because it ensured our safety," said Sidney Malone. "We knew there was all these people that were willing to make a change in our community and adjust to our needs and listen to our needs"
For nearly two hours, Winnebago County's state's attorney, the county sheriff, state representatives and police heard from students, as they sounded off on issues ranging from gun control to mental health.
"Some of the students challenged some of my thoughts about having a comprehensive mental health database to help us find individuals that might be questionable as whether they should possess firearms," said Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato. "I like that input."
And for some, these conversations don't end here.
"I want them to feel safe," said Winnebago Police Chief Todd Stockburger. "I want to know as much as they know about their concerns and I want to work with them."
Following the assembly, Stockburger says he wants to get to work addressing some of these student's immediate concerns.
"They see different gaps, they see different opportunities than we do," said Stockburger. "So, if we can form some kind of work group, work together so we can identify the gaps, to move forward and make this school as safe as possible, then that's a win-win."
A small step for one school in tackling a nationwide issue.