NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville students made a call to action during a walk out Monday, one week to the day after a school shooting in Green Hills claimed six lives.
The event is by the March For Our Lives organization — a movement born out of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 students were killed in 2018. They’ve since led numerous marches and events in an effort to push lawmakers to change policies than can reduce gun violence and save lives.
The Vanderbilt University students organizing Monday’s event in Nashville said their work includes interviewing people impacted by school shootings and last week those people became their neighbors.
“It hits closer and closer, the longer and longer that you’re, you know, hearing these stories just being like that it’s the same story over and over again,” said Brynn Jones. “But then hearing it on Monday that it was in Tennessee, it was in Nashville, 20 minutes from where I grew up, 20 minutes from where I go to school, hit incredibly close to home and felt personal in a way that it usually doesn’t.”
The walk out is scheduled to begin at 10:13 a.m. Monday, the same time when Metro police said a shooter entered the Covenant School last week and took the lives of six people, including three children. Metro police officers rushed to the scene and killed the shooter within 14 minutes of the first 911 call.
“The purpose of the rally is to show that the community has had enough and we are demanding change from the Tennessee legislature,” said Ezri Tyler. “The message overall is we know that right now, Tennessee is engaging in this culture war, where they’re harming our communities by banning drag, by banning books, banning gender affirming care. But if they actually cared about protecting kids, as they claimed they would address what kills every single day, which is guns.”
After the walk out, students, parents and other supporters will gather at the Tennessee Capitol at 10:45 a.m.
Metro Nashville Public School leaders said walk-in rallies will be held at high schools at the same time as the walk out.
“I understand and share the frustration, anger, and fears that many of our students, staff, and families have expressed in recent days over the latest and closest in a long line of school shootings and the lack of meaningful action by lawmakers to address the epidemic of gun violence in our society,” Director of Metro Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle stated in a press release. “Our team has worked closely with student leaders, including our student Board members Abenezer Haile and Alayna Mitchell, to develop a plan of action that would meet the desire of students to voice their concerns while keeping student safety top of mind.”