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West Kentucky Students Make Their Voices Heard at D.C. 'March For Our Lives'

Courtesy of Megan Meyer

A group of students from west Kentucky took a 17-hour bus ride to Washington D.C. to participate in March For Our Lives, a rally protesting mass shootings and gun violence in schools - and one of many on Saturday around the nation.

14-year-old Murray Middle School student Nora Dodd said the atmosphere is very supportive. The group has signs representing Marshall County High School, where a shooting occurred in January, and other signs that call for action beyond 'thoughts and prayers' to stop violence in schools.

"Kids should not have to die. People should not fear to come to their own schools. Schools should feel like a safe environment," Dodd said. She said it's "ridiculous" that an 18-year-old can buy a weapon but not an alcoholic beverage.

Caroline Larkins is also a 14-year-old student from Murray Middle. "I feel like our generation isn't taken seriously because of this. But now I think people are listening to us because it's happening to us," she said. She said she wants to see more gun control, adding that girls' dress codes in schools are more controlled than guns. She also said she wants to see more support for children, families and victims of gun violence in addition to "less hate."

Larkins said she's never been to Washington before and said the event is 'bittersweet.' "The only reason this is happening is because of all the horrible events, but at the same time, I finally get to speak out about my beliefs," she said.

Shaylee Cullop is a 19-year-old student from Murray State. She said March For Our Lives shows progress. "I think this march is very important because students are finally having their voices heard," she said.

Dodd said she's glad to voice her opinion and be around people with similar opinions. "I've lost friends just in the past week. My own relatives seem disappointed in me for standing up for what I believe in. And we're supposed to be the generation that makes the change. We have people that still disapprove of everything we do and I'm so, so glad that we're having this event and that we're making history today," she said.

The students traveled to D.C. with support from the progressive group Pennyroyal Indivisible and local individuals and groups. A member of the group is chaperoning the students. They return on Sunday.

Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer
Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer
Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer
Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer
Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer
Credit Courtesy of Megan Meyer

    

Credit Pennyroyal Indivisible, via Facebook

  

This story has been updated to include more photos, courtesy of Megan Meyer (chaperoning the group).

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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