March For Our Lives in State College

Hana Wiessmann

The March For Our Lives movement, created by the students of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school in response to the mass school shooting on February 14, 2018, hosted a march on March 24, 2018 at Washington DC. The march was hosted to protest gun violence and mass school shootings. The March For Our Lives movement spread across the world with over 800 marches being held in support of the march in Washington DC. State College hosted their own supporting march that began at the State College Area High School.

 

The student organizers of the march, Bronte Clingham-David, Kayla Fatemi-Badi, Kira Gines, Beatrice Belmonte and Grace McDonald, lead the march, holding signs and shouting slogans: “It Could Have Been Us” and “Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Stop Bullets”. They were also the ones who enlisted the speakers who gave speeches at the Old Main building. All the speakers expressed remorse for the school shootings in America and praised the student organizers of the march for taking steps toward change. Some of the speakers included: Michael Pipe, chairman of the Centre County Board, Amber Concepcion, the president of State College School Board and Scott Conklin, the Pennsylvania State Representative (77th district).

 

Seun Babalola and Beryl Bannerman, part of the Black Student Union at PSU & PSU UPUA (The University Park Undergraduate Association) who also spoke at the march acknowledged and praised all the youth who came to the march, “The amount of young people standing up at their age is amazing” Babalola said. Jess L. Barlow, part of the State College Borough Councilman thanked the student organizers and lead the marchers in a chant, “Don’t boo, vote!”. The last speaker of the event was Laura Shadle, President of Centre County Young Democrats, “All the students here are going to be voting” Shadle said.

 

Besides the crowd of adults, speakers and student organizations, there were a lot of high schoolers who came out in support of the march. Emma Mortimore and Caitlin Maggs, juniors, were carrying the signs, “2020 Voter” and “Papercuts not bullet wounds”. Devin Adams, senior, was also carrying a sign, “Arms should be for hugging!”, “I hope in the primaries in May and elections in November [we] will vote out some G.O.P people” Adams said.

 

The march estimated around 2,00 marchers at the State College march, Clingham-David said, “I’m proud of my community for coming together and showing that they care so much about this issue.”

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