(CNN)Students didn't just walk out on March 14, their signs spoke volumes too.
9 of the most powerful signs from the National Student Walkout
Thousands of young people from elementary to collegiate level participated in demonstrations one month after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Parents, teachers and allies also joined in.
Together, they honored those who lost their lives in mass shootings and demanded that Congress pass stricter gun legislation.
Teenagers started the day holding up the names of the 17 Parkland victims outside the White House.
Alan Cruz, a young activist from Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas photographed this powerful moment from the walkout.
"I joined the protest first as a student who cares about my own safety and safety of the school because we deserve to go to school without worrying if we'll get shot," he said. "Being shot isn't on my to-do list to graduate."
Cruz stressed the importance of listening to how students of color and disabled students feel about gun violence. He suggested an "intersectional" approach to school safety that considers the needs of everyone.
Libi Ariel, a 12-year-old student at Hannah Senesh Community Day School, made a clear case during a rally in Brooklyn.
Although some people believe giving educators weapons could increase school safety, not all protesters seemed to agree.
One student questioned the logic in Detroit.
And her friend had a message for legislators.
Molly Reynolds, an education major at University of Colorado Boulder, also disagreed with the idea that arming teachers could solve gun violence. So she turned to civic engagement as a means to make a difference.
"Vote out politicians who take NRA blood money. Vote out politicians who believe that the safety of weapons is more important than the safety of children," she wrote on Instagram. "Enough is enough."
Overall, the young people who chose to walk out of school on Wednesday shared one resonating theme: They are the next generation of leaders, and they deserve to be heard.