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Florida Students Swarm the Capitol and Demand Reform

These students are here to say that they understand what is going on and want reform.

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Survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting marched to the Florida state capitol Wednesday. Hundreds of students and teachers stood outside the building demanding gun reform alongside signs that read #NeverAgain as they chanted “Vote them out!”

16-year-old Alfonso Calderon is a survivor of the shooting and made a statement at a televised news conference, “I was in a closet, locked for four hours with people who I would consider almost family, crying and weeping on me, begging for their lives. I understand what it’s like to text my parents, ‘Goodbye, I might never ever, ever get to see you again. I love you.’ I understand what it’s like to fear for your life.”

Many students such as Alfonso, feel as if they are not taken seriously and that they do not understand the issue. These students are here to say that they understand what is going on and want reform.

Stoneman Douglas Student Florence Yared spoke at the capitol, “I’m not trying to take away your Second Amendment rights, nor am I trying to eliminate all guns. But we cannot protect our guns before we protect our children. The only purpose of an assault weapon like this is to kill, and to kill as many people as possible. The AR-15 is not a self-defense weapon. It is called an assault weapon. Assault. Think about this word.”

Several major walkouts have been planned since Wednesday’s event. The National School Walkout will be held on March 14 at 10 am. It calls for students, faculty, and parents across the country to walk out of school for 17 minutes. Each minute stands for each victim who was lost in the Stoneman Douglas shooting.

March for Our Lives is set to take place on March 24. This march will mainly be held in Washington, DC and other major US cities.

#wewantchange #walkout

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Abby Goss is a senior at West Chester University. She will graduate in the Spring with a Bachelor of the Arts in English and a Minor in Journalism. She is a dedicated writer and has produced content for several outlets including Kelly Roach Coaching, The Odyssey Online, The Torch, and The Quad. She can be reached at abbygoss96@gmail.com.

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