BY SOPHIE RAYMOND AND SOPHIE BIRD
Students from both Bloomington High School North and South attended the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 24. According to NBC News, an estimated 800,000 people attended the Washington march. Approximately 800 marches were organized worldwide, including one in Antarctica.
Forty-six students set out for Washington in a charter bus on Friday morning, accompanied by four chaperones.
Justin deMatas, a senior at North, says the march was an emotional and impactful experience.
“I had felt so passionately about this cause and the first steps were finally happening,” he says. “Stepping back and realizing what the takeaway was didn’t take long. I realized that March 24th was the first day. This is only the beginning of what it will become.”
deMatas would like to see significant gun reform, including the banning of bump stocks assault-style rifles that shoot at a high RPM and more intensive background checks. “It should not be this easy to get a gun today,” he says.
In Bloomington, those who were unable to travel to larger rallies gathered on the courthouse lawn to march down Kirkwood. More than 100 people attended the protest, which was organized by South students.
South senior Elena Stalnaker attended the Bloomington march and says many people attended the local protest because the weather was unsafe for travel to Indianapolis and elsewhere.
“Everyone’s shoes were soaked through and we were getting hit in the face with little pieces of ice,” Stalnaker says.
At the event, protesters handed out voter registration cards to encourage people to make their voices heard during local elections.
“We’re fed up with how horrible our elected officials have been behaving and that we even have to keep protesting this,” says Stalnaker. “How horrible is it that kids keep dying and buying AR-15s to kill each other? We were very frustrated with our federal government.”
To view photos of Bloomington high school students at the Washington march, click the photo below to start the slideshow. Use the on-screen arrows or the arrows on your keyboard to navigate forward and backward. Photos by Peter Grumbling