Organized walkouts and rallies were held for the third time since a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The latest were held on the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
The ultimate goal is to bring awareness to gun violence. In Northeast Indiana students wanted until after school to host rallies.
“We’ve heard ‘this is the world’s biggest mass shooting’ or ‘the country’s biggest mass shooting’ I’ve heard that headline so many times in my life, and I’m only 18,” Bellmont High School student Morgan Murphy said.
Although these teenaged organizers weren’t alive during the 1999 shooting that killed 13 people, April 20 is important to them.
“We grow up seeing this on the news every single day,” one of the rally’s organizer Emily Farler said.
In Decatur, Bellmont High School students walked from school to the Courthouse. Students talked about increasing mental health awareness as a way to fight gun violence.
“No healthy individual is going to go into school and commit an act of violence,” rally organizer Allyson McBride said.
Others shared their own experience seeing their friends become victims of gun violence.
“I still have my voice they don’t,” Murphy said. “So I wanted to do something with it.”
In Fort Wayne, teens and adults met on the Courthouse Green where students, politicians and community leaders spoke. This event was organized by 16-year-old Emily Farler who admits it was intimidating taking something like this on.
“I’m only 16, I’m not that old,” Farler said. “I can’t even vote yet. I’m really passionate about getting people involved.”
The teens here are looking for something simple.
“I’m sick and tired of seeing lives taken away, fellow peers, and people having to worry about coming to school,” Snider High School student Kyaw Lin said. “So that’s one thing I advocate for. I want happiness in schools.”
More than 2,000 walkouts or rallies were held Friday.