WHITEFISH BAY, Wis. — Dozens of students joined a national walkout Thursday to protest gun violence in the United States.
Mariella Boudreau, a senior at the high school, said the school used to have a group called Students Demand Action, a subset of a larger national group comprised of student activists against gun violence. However, when the pandemic hit, the group disintegrated.
When the national group posted about a national walkout, Boudreau and her friends wanted to be a part of it, taking it upon themselves to host the walkout on their own campus.
“We thought this cause is so important to so many people, including us, and it has such a big effect on our nation as a whole,” she said.
At 11 a.m. local time, students across grade levels joined students across the country, hoping to make their message clear to those in power.
“We, as a generation, are typically the ones most affected by this issue, but we have the least say when it comes to impacting legislation and representatives. But we are not helpless. We are not hopeless. We have voices. Being able to rally together and really speak out our minds makes the most difference,” Boudreau said.
The high school senior said she’s hopeful that the nation can come together on the issue.
“Keeping guns out of our schools is one of the most important things, I think, we as a community agree on. It is so painful to see all of those stories of children getting killed at school, especially because school should be the place where you are the most safe and you feel the most protected,” she said.
Boudreau acknowledged the Whitefish Bay community is a place of privilege, but wanted to demonstrate that mass shootings can be “reality” anywhere in the country, no matter the zip code.
Seth Wasserman contributed to this report.