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Hickman students walk out, call for less gun violence in schools


Students for Change, a student-run group that hopes to prevent gun violence in Columbia Public Schools participated in a school walkout to protest gun violence Wednesday.

The walkout was organized by a Hickman student, Elle Davis-Greene, after becoming frustrated with the amount of school shootings in America.

The walkout comes the week after a mass shooting at a Nashville, Tennessee, school last week.

Nashville police say a 28-year-old -- identified as former-student Audrey Hale -- walked into The Covenant School and fired off 152 rounds March 27. The victims included three 9-year-old students, as well as three adults who worked at the school. Police have yet to find a motive for the shooting, but did note that Hale had planned the attack over a period of months.

The noon walkout was planned at the east entrance of Hickman High School.

Schools across the country also organized walk-outs after Students Demand Action -- a group that pushes for gun control -- asked that schools participate. A Missouri state Rep. Donna Baringer (D-St. Louis) also took to social media Wednesday morning, asking for "common sense" gun legislation to be passed.

Two students at Hickman, Elle Davis-Greene and Karli Jones said they no longer feel safe attending school. They also noted that things that most students should enjoy have now become a constant reminder that they could become a victim of a shooting.

"We have magnets in our doors, and it scares me when someone doesn't put the magnet back in the door so that the door is locked so that no one can get in or out," Greene said. "Just little things like that are a reminder that this is unsafe."

"I don't feel safe and I don't think anybody should because you're not... fire alarms scare us, tornado drills scare us, we don't ever wanna be in like all at once assemblies," Jones said. "Those should be things that we enjoy and we can't."

Jones, who is the founder of Students for change said that the group thinks weapon detectors should be installed in all Columbia schools, and wants Missouri to implement stricter laws for buying guns.

Some Missouri lawmakers agreed with this, and said that the age limit for buying semi-automatic weapons in Missouri needs to be raised to at least 20 years old, and that the state needs red-flag laws.

"There's no reason an 18 year old needs to have an ak47 or an ar15," Rep. David Tyson Smith (D-Columbia) said. "They can use them, but just going in on their own and buying it is unacceptable."

Other senators, however said an increase in security in schools could be a possible solution to the issue.

"I think that we need to start with the standard of at least one in each district, and be willing as a state to set aside the dollars to make that a reality," Sen. Bill Eigel (R-St. Charles County) said.

State representatives also participated in a walk-out, according to a social media post shared by Rep. Kathy Steinhoff (D-Columbia).

According to the gun violence archive, there have been at least 128 mass shootings this year. This is just a few more than we had seen last year at this time when there were 123 reported mass shootings.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Nia Hinson


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