SAVANNAH, Ga., (WSAV) — The debate continues over gun control days after a deadly shooting at a South Florida high school. Students across the country are turning their anger — into action. A group of gun control advocates spent presidents day protesting in front of the white house.
The teenagers staged a “lie in” — in memory of 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. This is just part of a larger movement among students and teachers to change laws surrounding gun control. In Savannah, students are becoming part of a nationwide campaign to “walk out” of schools exactly one month after the deadly shooting.
“I know we don’t address it a lot. But it hurts. Reading about kids our age being shot and killed is awful,” 16-year-old, Kaleigh Lamont says. “I can’t imagine knowing someone who had to deal with that. Just knowing what happened I cried.”
But her crying has turned into fighting. Lamont has decided to become part of a national campaign to walk out of school on March 14th the one-month anniversary. The 17-minute walkout will represent the 17 lives lost that day.
The campaign organized by the Womens March Youth and Empowerment branch is a nationwide effort to send a message to elected officials that students want safety in school and stricter gun laws.
“Take that moment to say congress you need to do something. We’re children we shouldn’t be dealing with this,” Lamont says.
Monday students in Broward County participated in a walkout. The students say it was a call to action sending a message loud and clear to state and federal leaders all the way in the nation’s capitol.
Lamont hopes she will be joined by thousands of students across the county to hold the powerful, accountable. “I just want us all to have a general consensus that if we wait to become the next statistic, to become the next school that is on the news then what is the point,” she says.
Savannah Arts Principal, Gifford Lockley, released a statement that said in part, “there has been a lot of discussion about the planned national walkouts across the nation…Please be patient as we determine the safest plan for those students who are interested in participating. We want to hear what our children have to say but we want to follow the guidelines provided by the district.”
There are several walkouts taking place across the country:
Wednesday, March 14 – A 17 minute walkout at 10:00am to honor the 17 victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Saturday, March 24 – #MarchforOurLives in Washington, DC and communities throughout the nation.
Friday, April 20 – #NationalSchoolWalkout will commemorate the 19th Anniversary of the Columbine High School Shooting at 11:00am CST