East Lansing students hold walkout for gun reform

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- The problem of gun violence back on the minds of students and parents in Mid-Michigan on Wednesday.

Students at East Lansing high school held a walkout to show why it was on their minds.

"Just because it hasn't been reported on frequently, lately, doesn't mean the problem has gone away," East Lansing sophomore Anaiis Rios-Kasoga said.

One year ago to the date, students around the country walked out of class. The "March for Our Lives" was in reaction to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Wednesday, East Lansing students walked out with the principal's permission to draw attention to the lack of any significant change.

"What I say to our students often is that they have a lot of power and their power will make a tremendous difference in our world," East Lansing High School Principal Andrew Wells said.

Hundreds of students participated in the walkout and said they wanted to continue the tradition that was started last year in hopes of inspiring change.

"For a group of people to just have a sense of hope that I can, in fact, inflict change if I'd like to and that's the most important takeaway I think. We wanted people to walk away with today. I can enact change anywhere if I have the will to," Rios-Kasoga said.

The students say the fact that they have lockdown drills to prepare for shootings shows the problem of gun violence is out of control.

"just left there to contemplate, what if this wasn't a drill? What if someone was coming here with the intent to harm us? Just the very real nature of our situation is terrifying to think about," Rios-Kasoga said.

And that fear is motivating them to speak up.

"Even if it's just in your school, starting a dialogue with your classmates is incredibly impactful," East Lansing sophomore Sydney Greenway added.

Students sold t-shirts before the walkout. The profits will be donated to "Everytown for Gun Safety," an organization that works to raise awareness of gun violence.