Northern Colorado High School Students ‘Walkout’ To End Gun Violence
On Tuesday, hundreds of students from high schools in Fort Collins walked out of their classrooms to protest gun violence. A group from Poudre High School marched nearly 3 miles from their school in west Fort Collins to Old Town Square.
Junior Alexandra Holton, 16, was one of the organizers. She said high school students should not be afraid to get an education.
"That is not fair," said Holton. "Beyond that - there have been shootings at concerts, movie theaters - all of the places that we as high school students go to hang out, to develop, to be kids - is taken over by gun violence. And that is something that we are going to end today."
The teens were joined by students from other local high and middle schools as well as parents and members of the community. Protestors chanted and held homemade signs. Jake Johnson's sign read "NRA," with the acronym changed to stand for "Not the Right Answer."
"I'm marching today because I'm just tired of this being a regular occurrence," said Johnson. "I'm tired of school shootings happening on a regular basis. There's nothing being done about it."
The 16-year-old junior from Poudre High School walked with his twin brother, Dane, and their mother, Becky Jensen.
Jensen said, when she first her about the march, her first instinct was to protect her sons, but she realized the importance of participating in the march.
"I recognize this is a part of growing up, of stepping back and letting them walk and have this be their voice," she said. "I'm just really honored and privileged to support them."
During the walk, counter protestors drove by the marchers. They gunned their engines to blow exhaust fumes - something called "coal rolling." One white pickup truck carried the American and Confederate flags.
16-year-old Eliana Pritchett, another walkout organizer from Poudre High School, said there's a lot more they want to do to curb gun violence.
"We want to encourage people to call their representatives and express their opinions," she said. "This is, we will not stop protesting until we see a change in legislation in regards to gun laws."