Jackson students continue protests against gun violence

Rally in front of City Hall coincided with marches across the country
By Dan Aznoff | May 03, 2018
Courtesy of: Marisa Moreno The message behind the student rally in front of City Hall was clear to anybody who drove past the orderly crowd that gathered on April 20 to call for an end to gun violence. Speakers at the rally also called for tighter background checks on individuals who apply to purchase a firearm.

More than 50 students from Jackson High School walked out of class and marched through Town Center to rally in front of Mill Creek City Hall last month in a continued protest against gun violence.

The students were met at City Hall by dozens of members of the community who joined the non-violent demonstration.

The student-led protests began in February after the deadly shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day left 17people dead at a high school in Parkland.

The protest in Mill Creek was one of more than 3,000 similar rallies held at 10 a.m. local time at schools and public places across America. The time was chosen to commemorate the beginning of the shooing spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

The Jackson students made the march aware that missing class would be recorded as an unexcused absence. Principal Dave Peters said the students could face detention.

The date of the protest was also significant. April 20 was the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that left 13 people dead and 20 others injured.

“I cried quite a bit. They made a lot of speeches and were very passionate about the cause,” said Marisa Moreno, founder of a Mill Creek chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I was so proud of those kids I started crying just seeing them march.”

The mother of two said she hopes to combine the efforts of the student group with her organization to raise the awareness for the need for stricter limits on the sale of assault weapons.

The rally in front of city hall brought honks from drivers who support the cause, as well as screams from motorists who wanted the protestors to go back to class.

One of the protestors said she felt empowered by the gathering.

“We are impassioned because we do not feel safe being at school anymore. School should be a safe haven.”

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