Nokomis Regional High students walk out to protest gun violence

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NEWPORT, Maine (WABI) - “Our lives matter,” said student speaker Sarah Hill. “School is supposed to be a place where you go to learn and they are being turned into shooting ranges.”

About 40 students at Nokomis Regional High walked out of class to protest gun violence in schools.

“Congress has been very inactive in their ability to pass meaningful gun control legislation,” said student organizer Jackson Peck. “It seems like after every school shooting we see 15 dead, children my age.”

The walkout was part of a national movement that saw thousands of students all around the country rallying for sensible gun laws and an end to school shootings.

“I've heard a lot of people say things like 'well, this is just Nokomis, it's central Maine, it's not going to happen here,'” said Hill. “But that's what everyone said before it happened to them in their town.”

Student speakers expressed their concerns over the issues and pleaded with lawmakers to take swift action. They say protests both locally and nationally need to be taken seriously if any change is to happen.

“If protests were always popular, women wouldn't have the right to vote and black people would still be slaves,” said Peck. “Activism can start at any age and its importance is always there. Especially for younger generations in this country, it’s important for us to voice our opinions. I can vote. I can go out and vote, why should I not be able to voice my opinions?”

Even though winter conditions prevented them for joining the national movement, Peck says the importance of the issues are too important to stay silent.

“The point isn't that this is going to be one event and everything is going to blow over and we are going to forget about it. This is about us standing together, untied under the same ideals, not united on the same time.”