Students Speak

THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS, PARENTS, educators, and others came out for the March for Our Lives on March 24. Organized by the Parkland High School shooting survivors, the marches were held in Washington, D.C., and in 800 other cities in the U.S. and internationally to protest for stronger gun control laws.

These students were interviewed at the Washington, D.C., march.

RUTH MILES
Ninth grade
South Lakes High School, Fairfax, Virginia

Why she’s protesting: “When you’re locked in a closet in the back of your classroom in the pitch-black dark, you start to think: This is how it could end. Every time a kid has his hood up in the hallway, and every time you hear a door close a little bit too loud, you shouldn’t be scared for your life. That’s not normal. That’s not OK, and it needs to change.”

 

RUSTY CLARK
Ninth grade
Moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Vienna, Virginia, in December

Why she’s marching: “I think it’s ridiculous how unsafe everyone feels. These things have happened for so many years that it’s becoming ‘normal’ in society. But I think Parkland started something. We are angry about it now.”

 

LOUISA ROMERO
Seventh grade
Presidio Middle School, San Francisco, California

Why she traveled cross-country: “I want to be part of a bigger movement, not just part of things in San Francisco. We have to keep pushing. People are going to slow down or stop, but we can’t do that. I can’t vote yet, but I will someday. And I will keep protesting and making people aware. It’s just too important.”

 

JESSICA KING
12th grade
Monticello High School, Charlottesville, Virginia

Why she marched with her mother: “After all the other shootings, from Columbine to Sandy Hook, there was no action taken. In Sandy Hook, elementary schoolers could not stand up for what happened because they were too young. [Stoneman Douglas] didn’t just happen in Florida. All of us were affected by it. When 17 people were shot, it felt like it was us. We have to fight back. There’s nothing else we can do.”

 

ALEXA LANGLEY
12th grade
Atkins High School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Why students will lead change: “When the kids get mad enough to mobilize, that’s when change starts to happen. That’s what happened in the 1960s. It got us out of Vietnam. It led to what happened with civil rights. It was kids getting mad enough to be the change for what they wanted to see.”

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