...They spilled out of the front entrances of Stratford High School by the hundreds, led by their principal and greeted by their superintendent and mayor.
The idea of this walkout, like thousands of them staged around the state and around country at precisely 10 a.m. Wednesday wasn't to argue politics, most participants said.
It was about remembrance.
"It was important that we did something together," Ryann Wiltsie, 14, a Stratford High freshman and cousin of Vicki Soto, a first grade teacher who lost her life during the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown in 2012.
Between poetry, and song, members of the Stratford High student council -- Wiltsie included -- approached a microphone perched on the school's cold stone front steps, to read off the names of the victims of a Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
One by one, in between 17 moments of silence.
"They were students," she said. "I would want the same."
Jeremiah Domschine, a Stratford senior, said the point of the walkout was to show respect for those who died.
"And solidarity," Kristen Navarro, another Stratford student, said.
School Superintendent Janet Robinson, who was Newtown's schools chief during Sandy Hook, said Stratford's walkouts -- one was also held simultaneously at Bunnell High -- were designed entirely by kids.
"Right off the bat they said to me "We disagree. Some of us are very Second Amendment, some of us want to do away with weapons so we aren't going there. What we want to do is honor the victims."'
They also want to be safe, Robinson added.
Students took the lead in most of the area walk outs.
At Shelton High, students wearing Douglas High's maroon and silver colors, placed flowers in a vase as victim names were being read. At Harding High in Bridgeport, Schools Superintendent Aresta Johnson called it a chance for student voices to be heard and applauded them for their civic engagement and activism.
Nathaniel Perez, a Harding junior, was instrumental in planning the event, according to Johnson who was joined at Harding's walkout by Mayor Joseph Ganim.
Across town at Central High, hundreds spilled out onto school grounds, attracting the attention of neighbors.
"We ... applaud their good efforts," said Joe Luciano, a Central neighbor. "The students were truly amazing."
And at Milford's Jonathan Law High School, where nearly all 920 students participated in the walkout, some said politics can not be ignored.
"We feel very strongly that this had to be a political statement," said senior Colleen Hugo, a student organizer. "Some of the teachers wanted this to be only a remembrance ceremony - which, of course, it was - but as students we feel that our lived were at risk and we're not happy with the way gun legislation is in this country."
As a moment of silence for each victim was observed, Hugo sounded a Tibetan singing bowl 17 times.