Students Share Experience From Marches

Two groups of Northwood School students and faculty attended March for Our Lives demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and in Saranac Lake, NY. According to the March For Our Lives website, the purpose of the event was to “demand that [children’s and families’] lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.” The Mirror asked participants to reflect on their experiences. This is what they shared with us.

From the event in Washington, at which organizers estimate more than 800,000 people attended:

 

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“The thing that I enjoyed the most was the fact that this march was organized by students around my age, and this opened my eyes to the fact that people of all ages can make a difference.”

– Owen Pierce ‘21

 

“The thing I’ll never forget is how so many young students from across the nation united to form a movement. For so long, adults have been telling us that we are ‘too young to make a change.’ They complain about us being ignorant about politics, but this march proved that we will stand up for what we believe in. We are the change that they wished to see.”

– Lexi Hooper ‘20

 

“The power and passion of the students speaking, especially the younger kids who spoke, was really empowering. The eleven year old girl [Naomi Wadler] who spoke was breathtaking.”

– Sidney Williams ‘18

 

“One thing that surprised me was that even with so many people there everyone was still really nice and supportive of everyone around them. I was also surprised that afterword on social media I saw many people holding signs explaining that they were hunters and still supported the movement. I’m a hunter myself as well as many people from my town and many of them are against the stricter gun laws movement, I believe due to the fact that they don’t really understand that a majority of people are protesting how easily assault guns like AR-15’s can be bought rather than hunting rifles which are extremely different from AR-15’s”

– Braelyn Tebo ‘20

 

“I stood next to an openly gay man in the army. He was out marching with an Army shirt dyed rainbow and a sign that read “soldier for gun reform” He told me how easy it is to kill with a AR-15. He told me that that gun is designed to kill people and nothing more than that. He said that there is no reason that any civilian would ever need an assault rifle. He said that his generation was unable to make change after Columbine, but he believes our generation will be able to if we only show up to vote”

– Olivia Skrilloff ‘18

 

“It was truly a life-changing experience. Being surrounded by thousands of people all aspiring for change and listening to these amazing speeches by children all under 18. It was so great to be part of a movement and helping to end gun violence in America. I felt so moved and heartbroken. It was so powerful.”

– Olivia Paul ‘21

 

“The thing I’ll never forget is that the march was student-run and organized and it drew 800,000 people. This just showed me that you can do anything no matter how old or young you are. I learned that if something seems unjust to you, you have the power to fight it and fight for what you want.”

– Morgan Broderick ‘19

 

“I learned from this march that gun violence is a much more powerful, and bigger issue than I ever thought before. The pain that so many people are going through from being exposed to gun violence is a big problem in this country. People say that we should be treating the people with the mental illness who are shooting the guns, but in reality, mental illnesses are global, while mass shootings are the most elevated in America. We have the ability to change these guns laws, and vote out the politicians who are in support of not changing them. This march, and its speakers, really gave me a new perspective on how much damage these guns are causing, and they solidified my resolve to change the laws that allow them.”

– Maddy Cohen ‘21

 

From the march in Saranac Lake, at which more than 200 people participated:

 

 

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“It was such an amazing experience. One thing that surprised me was the fact that over 200 people were present at the March. That’s a lot for Saranac lake. I learned that speaking up and voicing your opinion is the biggest way to make change. Silence can only take you so far.”

– Addie Castillo ‘21

 

“Social activism is really important to our family, so I was delighted by the large North Country turnout (over 200 people!) for our seven year old’s first march. I am thrilled that a group of Northwood activists spoke and stood up for gun control in Saranac Lake and in Washington DC.  As a mother, educator, and human being, I am sick at heart over the epidemic of violence in our country.”

– Ms. Aerie Treska

 

“I’ll never forget what it was like to lead a group of people in chanting for something that I strongly believe in. My favorite chant was ‘Hey Hey! Ho Ho! The NRA has got to go!’ It felt good to be there because there were a lot of people there – more than I expected. It’s nice to know that people in the North Country care about ending gun violence”

– Jazzy Valenzuela

 

“We made up a chant during the March:
‘We want fun! No more guns!’
We like that chant because school should be fun and safe.”

– Yosef Spear and Calder Pierce (faculty kids)

 

“I found that attending the march in Saranac Lake was a great experience. It was my first time participating in an event like that, and it was super cool to have it take place in my hometown. My favorite part was that as we were marching along the street, people driving by were honking and acknowledging us. It showed me that it doesn’t take a lot to get people’s attention, so it is important to stand up for what you think is right.”

– Ellie Colby ‘21

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