By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Teenagers from across the country are heading to Washington D.C. this weekend. About a half-million people are expected at the March for Our Lives protest this Saturday.

The movement is led by survivors from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. They’ve led smaller walkouts leading up to this weekend demanding legislative action that will address gun violence and school safety.

A group of about 40 students from Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights will be there. They boarded a bus Thursday evening outside St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Sunfish Lake, bound for a whirlwind weekend that culminates with the March For Our lives on the streets of Washington. It will begin at noon Saturday right outside the Capitol.

A month ago, a graduate of Henry Sibley named Joe Campbell came up with the idea of raising money to send students to the march. He had a modest goal of $5,000.

Within a week, they flew by that goal – raising nearly $30,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

“It’s incredible for me,” senior Liam Hickey said. “Just seeing all of the recent headlines of violence in our schools, I’m honestly fed up and I’m really, really inspired, so happy that we got these donations.”

The group, as well as the thousands of others marching, are demanding their lives and safety become a priority by telling lawmakers to figure out a way to stop gun violence and prevent mass shootings.

“I think that will be amazing feeling because for the first time that I can remember the youth of America have really come together on this issue,” senior Austin Armon said. “And even though they don’t have the power to vote, they can express their opinion and I think it’s really cool and it’s really impactful that they’re all coming together to do this.”

Prior to the march, they will get a pep talk from Sen. Amy Klobuchar and potentially a few more Minnesota lawmakers.

“Seeing the youth that are involved in this, like on a bigger scale, and knowing that I could be a part of that and actually use my voice to make a change and be a part of history was just an incredible thought, and I’m so lucky that I have the chance to be here,” senior Natalie Nachtsheim said.

Over the course of this weekend WCCO’s Jeff Wagner be covering many of activities not only for our newscast, but online. Keep an eye on WCCO’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts for live updates.

Comments (5)
  1. Jerry May says:

    It’s nice to see youth doing something thoughtful and being involved. I think there’s always room for improving our schools and making them safer. However, imagine a world in which no one but the government has guns. Pretty frightening huh?

  2. Hans Zink says:

    Are they going to dress like vaginas like the women did?

  3. These children are being played like a cheap fiddle. Instead of pleading for more laws they should demanding common sense security for their schools. Metal detectors, one entrance in, period. At least one RELIABLE student resource office on duty at all times. Allow teachers with concealed carry permits to arm themselves. Folks, the answer isn’t less guns or more laws (criminals don’t obey laws) it certainly isn’t “Gun Free Zone signs” or any useless weapons ban, ie the AR-15. The answer is more guns in the RIGHT hands.

  4. Tom Fibi says:

    It’s about time we banned guns in this country and you can bet I will be marching on Saturday. Gun control doesn’t work, we need to ban guns and join the rest of the civilized world.

    1. Jerry May says:

      If no one has guns how will our military defend us? And if no one but the government has guns what’s to stop them from using them on us for any reason the government see as valid?

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