Children and Parents Protest Gun Violence at Paxson School
Nearly 100 children and parents gathered on the sidewalk outside Paxson Elementary School on Wednesday, joining thousands of others across the country to speak out against gun violence in schools.
10 year-old fourth-grader Brodie explained why he was holding a sign with dozens of his fellow students.
“To honor the people who have been shot in school, and to hope that there’s no more shooting and that we want this to stop,” he said.
Brodie’s mother, Libby, was literally standing behind her son as he took part in the protest, and that they had discussed the walkout at home.
“He brought this up yesterday and kind of touched my heart,” said Libby. “He knew exactly what it was all about and that he really wanted to be a part of it. We had a really tough conversation this morning about what’s happening right now and about this movement, and the legislation that really needs to go through to protect our kids in schools.”
Another school mom stood with her two children on the sidewalk. Gillian Fetz explained her purpose for taking part in the protest.
“I’m here with my two kiddos to show my support for the victims of the Parkland shootings last month in Florida,” Fetz began. “I wanted to show that we are in this together and we all need to protect our kiddos. Our kiddos have a right to go to school, and that supersedes anybody’s right to have an AR-15, as far as I’m concerned.”
There were similar protests at all the public high schools and the University of Montana.
At Hamilton High School, about 60 students walked across the road to the 1st Christian Church where nearly 80 adults were gathered. Our Steve Fullerton spoke with Grace, who explained her reasons for protesting.
“I don’t want anymore violence in schools, and I want to feel safe,” she said. “It scares me for my own life and for my little brother’s life.”
Names of the Florida victims were read on a public address system and high school students placed remembrance bows on an evergreen tree.
There were other gatherings throughout the day in Missoula.
Another walkout is scheduled for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High Schools shootings in Colorado.