Published: Sun, March 25, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Thoughts from a student on 'March for Our Lives' day

Thoughts from a student on 'March for Our Lives' day

He said as proof of his group's independence, it has turned down requests by some adult supporters to address Saturday's main march in Washington, preferring to reserve all speaking slots for youth.

Gonzalez began her speech on Saturday by recounting the shooting at her school. Because for nearly half her life, Lauren has been a survivor, too. "For the first time, the corrupt aren't controlling our story".

Lauren was a first-grader, just 6 years old.

While security upgrades have been among the demands by students at the school, the requirement that they use clear plastic backpacks did not sit well with many teens, said Jenna Korsten, a Stoneman Douglas senior.

"Our children should never fear going to school, and they should never jump at the sound of a book falling on the floor", she said to applause. School shootings, he said, are driven by "faulty communication and reporting of prior convictions", along with mental health issues. This is more than just one day, one event, then moving on.

"Fight for your lives before it's someone else's job", she said, and left the stage.

Dowd said that she wasn't ready emotionally to report on the tragedy and that The Eagle Eye staff allowed her time to grieve as a survivor.

Now a sixth grader, Lauren believes she can make a difference by marching on Washington.

"Kids you don't normally see engaged and kids you don't normally see interacting with each other and coming together to do this and it's really cool", says Syringa's instructional coach Lauren Macey. Student's who survived Tuesday's Great Mills High School shooting in the neighboring state of Maryland is also expected to march alongside Parkland survivors.

The defense of the Second Amendment comes not without fear of another school shooting.

Years after Lauren was almost killed, she can't understand why students aren't better protected from gunfire. "It should've happened a long time ago. after all these shootings there really should have been change". She and fellow students successfully petitioned city commissioners to get permits and she's learned about sponsorships and tax exemptions for charitable groups.

Instead, at 5 a.m., she'll board a bus in Newtown with her family, heading for Washington. "We mus educate ourselves and start conversations that keep our country moving forward, and we will".

"These Parkland kids - my hats off to them".

HPR: Recent news coverage has described your activism as groundbreaking because you are old enough to speak for yourselves, but the victims and survivors in Las Vegas and San Bernardino were also old enough to speak for themselves. My son was in the fourth grade.

"Stopping by the hospital, seeing the grief, seeing so much media, it felt so much like the early days of Sandy Hook", recalled Hockley, who co-founded the non-profit Sandy Hook Promise.

"We wanted to honor them and just show that we - even though we don't necessarily have the same beliefs on what we think should be done - we still think that their lives should be honored by what we do", Brown said.

Her mother, Erin, agrees.

"We know we can't change people, but we want to change the way that they are treated", said Harley Law, 13.

Lauren is full of hope for her future and future generations.

Like this: