"Frustrated" Tri-State Students: Parkland "Could Have Been Any One Of Us"

Mar 14, 2018

Tri-State students braved frigid temperatures and a pop-up snow squall to walk out of class Wednesday as part of a national effort to protest gun violence and remember the 17 victims of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Walnut Hills students stood arm in arm and listened to dramatic readings where other students called for gun control.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

For Walnut Hills High School senior Lucy Beauchamp, an organizer, the event is personal. "This could have been any one of us. In my mind, there is no real reason for this to have happened. There's no excuse, and there's no reason why we shouldn't have made a change before, but we might as well make a change now."

The 10:00 a.m. Walnut Hills program Beauchamp organized also included dramatic readings. Here is one of them by 16-year old Lily Adams.

At Newport High School in Kentucky, the message was not political. Students focused on remembering the victims, remaining silent for 17 minutes. They lined both sides of Sixth Street wearing special T-shirts and holding signs with the names of Parkland victims.

Organizer Haley Kerlin posted the walkout information on social media and, "I was actually really surprised at how many people were for this, who wanted to do it. There have been some people who have been critical, but that's to be expected."

Back in Ohio at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, students silently lined the entire block in front of their building for 17 minutes.

Junior Lily Theders says the Second Amendment is important. "But it also says we have a right to a well regulated militia. And I hope that we inspire the government to regulate that militia and not let 19-year-olds with mental illnesses and people who should not have guns—we should not allow them in the militia. We should put regulations on what guns the militia can have, who should be a part of that group."

Theders says she's frustrated by what she sees as adults not acting to protect kids who have their whole lives ahead of them.

Dozens of Greater Cincinnati students, including Beauchamp, drove to Columbus after the walkout to lobby lawmakers on gun control.

To see these students in action, click through the gallery above.