Students across western Washington walked out of class to protest gun violence and school shootings. Kids say they are sick of having to feel afraid while in the classroom.
Today, about 100 students from Robert Eagle Middle School held a sit-out, then marched outside. Students at Foss High School in Tacoma also organized a protest, holding up signs and chanting for several hours outside the school.
“What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!,” students chanted on the sidewalk outside of Foss High School.
Students say the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 elementary school student has reignited their fears of dying while at school.
“These 9-year-old kids shouldn’t be dying, they have the brightest future in the world,” said Keoni Pugal, a student at Foss High School.
“We shouldn’t just have to worry about going to school just to get shot,” said Heaven Young, another student.
“Why should kids have to be scared to live their life?” Brooklyn Hatcher, another Foss student, said.
Some high school seniors say they still remember the deadly school shooting that happened in the halls of Foss High School 15 years ago. One student was killed.
“In 2007 there was shooting at Foss and my brother was here,” Young said.
One student who was at the protest on Thursday is an exchange student from Italy.
“It’s not normal in Europe. Yesterday my mother called me, she was almost crying. She asked me, ‘When is school going to finish, because you don’t have to go to school anymore?,’” Liborio Pali said. “The U.S. should change a lot of things, because this is crazy,” he said.
Students say they’re frustrated. They see one mass shooting after another, but little change on a national scale when it comes to gun laws.
“I just wish we can make a difference in some type of way,” Hatcher said.
“You protest so many things, you know what I’m saying?,” said Andrea Tillman, another student. “It’s like what more can we do?” she said.
Meanwhile, some are asking for more systems of protection at school, like metal detectors.
“Yes, absolutely, we need it,” Young said.
“Checks to make sure nobody is walking in with any type of weapons,” said another student at the protest.
They’re hopeful lawmakers will see their protests and listen, when it comes to gun reform.
“We might be a small community, but we are trying to make a big impact,” Pugal said.
Students at Foss say they’re planning to organize another protest for next week.
Organizers nationwide are planning for a massive march in Washington D.C. called “March for our Lives” on June 11.
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