By Maya Schenne
On March 24, 2018, thousands of students marched to protest gun violence all across the country. This protest hit the biggest cities across the United States, including Washington D.C., Chicago, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York City, and Dallas. This giant event was called March for Our Lives. The recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida sparked the protest. Students have had enough violence in their schools. They say enough is enough. Joanna Gates, an art teacher who survived a school shooting in 1999, was proud of the students for standing up. “I have been waiting so long for something like this to happen. This is just incredible. These children have achieved more in a month than us adults have done in years. It’s time for change. It’s beyond time.”
March for Our Lives was sparked by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen students were killed on February 14, 2018, because of the shooting. Survivors of the Parkland shooting organized March for Our Lives. Over 500,000 people showed up in Washington D.C. to protest gun violence. March for Our Lives is one of the biggest youth protests since the Vietnam War. That shows how much of an impact school shootings have on a nation. More than one million people protested for change across the whole country.
In Prescott, over fifteen hundred people came together to march. It was inspiring to see such a large number of people marching in downtown Prescott. Not only were students protesting, but a large number of adults and seniors also attended. People handed out free signs that read, “STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA.” The goal of protesting was to bring awareness to the needed changes in gun safety laws. Although there were over 800 cities that participated in these protests, Washington D.C. was the main event.
Celebrities joined the students in the protest in Washington D.C. near the Capitol. George and Amal Clooney, Jimmy Fallon, Halsey, Cher, Glenn Close, Kim Kardashian, and Kanye West all came to support the students. Other celebrities came to perform, such as Demi Lovato, Vic Mensa, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Common, Andra Day, Ben Platt, and Miley Cyrus. Miley Cyrus said, “Thank you for being here. I love you all so much. Never again. You guys are so incredible, and I just count myself lucky to be in the presence of all you wonderful people, fighting for what’s right.”
Amy Schumer, Olivia Wilde, Cappie Pondexter, Yara Shahidi, Meg Donnelly, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Trevor Hall, Jacob Sartorius, and Skai Jackson also came to support the students. Many celebrities donated large sums of money to help pay for services, such as bathrooms, food, a medical tent, etc. It also helped by giving the organization everything it needs to succeed in their movement.
Many survivors of school shootings made appearances, as well as young activists. Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., made an inspiring speech: “My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream, that enough is enough. And that this should be a gun-free world. Period.” Rebecca Schneid, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, added, “This march is just the beginning of a movement that will last a very long time. We understand that this is a marathon and that we’ll be fighting for years. We’re just getting started, now we have to use our rights as voters to make things change. Politicians will see that we aren’t going away.” Another survivor from Parkland, David Hogg, said, “We need to see real action from lawmakers. They have to actually mean it, take meaningful steps to save children’s lives.”
Students are sick and tired of all the gun violence in schools. School should be a place where you learn and grow as a person. School shouldn’t make you fear for your life. Students have stepped forward to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” Their movement has spread across the nation, hitting the biggest cities and inspiring others to join in. With lots of hard work and determination, students will succeed in making schools a safe place.