Students in Madison, Milwaukee and other communities across Wisconsin participated in Wednesday’s National School Walkout event. They were out of class to demand action to stem gun violence.
At the Capitol in Madison, about 2000 people rallied. Middleton High School students Aaron Boorstein and Jonathan Downs had the student demands saved and ready to read from their cell phones: universal background checks and hold the state responsible for enforcement, banning bump stocks and limiting magazine capacities, raising the minimum age to purchase an “assault rife” to 21, and a major investment in mental health organizations and wellness.
AUDIO: Wisconsin students :45
Participants had hoped to deliver letters to legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker. Walker was not at the Capitol; he held a bill signing ceremony at a school in northern Wisconsin.
Happy to be at the Florence County School District, where we signed a bill to increase access to state grants for rural school and community libraries across the state. This will improve access to broadband and other tech needs. #AccountableGov pic.twitter.com/fqNKfhjYsU
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) March 14, 2018
At Marshfield High School, about 100 students left their classrooms. Senior Roma Shah helped organize the event, which like others across the country, came exactly one month after 17 students and teachers were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“We could be sitting in a school any day and die, and that thought is absolutely horrifying. There’s been too many lives lost up to this point, and to ignore the value of those lives is quite frankly disrespectful,” said Shah, who carried a sign that read “I needed parent permission to protest, but not to get an AR-15.”
At Kaukauna High School, 14 students and three staff members read a short biography of each Parkland victim.
About 200 students gathered outside Bay Port High School in Brown County, where 17 chairs were placed around the area where the students sat, one for each lost life at Parkland. “We just want action taken by our representatives,” said Junior Abbi Bender, who organized the event. “I think we’re all really frustrated with just hearing them say that we’re in their thoughts and prayers or tweeting their condolences.”
Affiliates WDLB, WTAQ & WHBY contributed to this report