MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Some students around the metro, and around the country, are on the move again. They walked out of their classrooms to commemorate the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school massacre.
This is the third large-scale walkout against school violence in the metro since 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Students gathered at the St. Paul Capitol and spoke with WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield about why they’re at it again.
It was a lesson in civics, but these students weren’t at the Capitol to learn. They were there to teach.
Miles Plueger is a senior in Coon Rapids.
“I think if we can get enough people in here to support our message, maybe they can convince others too,” Plueger said.
Amelia Pettis is a seventh grader at Sanford Middle School.
“More people are joining up, people are starting to see that this is more of a problem. I think that’s what we really want and if we get more attention we can try to solve this problem,” Pettis said.
From Coon Rapids to Woodbury, Minneapolis, St. Paul and beyond, students once again took a self-declared recess from school.
“We need to make change and if you don’t make change then more things like this are going to happen and nothing’s happened yet so we’re just gonna keep coming out here. So if it means I miss English, then I miss English,” Melia Anders, Pettis’s friend, said.
They certainly exercised their language arts skills, coming up with signs and slogans to express their want for protection.
“I still believe in the Second Amendment, I just think that there are certain guns out there that are way too powerful and too much of a responsibility for ordinary people to take on,” Plueger said.
So they are taking on a responsibility of their own.
“This is just the beginning,” Plueger said.
Plueger says the next big push is getting more people who are close to turning 18 to go out and vote in November.