By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Lincoln High students joined tens of thousands of others across the nation in a walkout protest of gun violence in America.
After the Feb. 14 shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., an array of protests swept the nation — many involving impassioned teenagers who have one continuous message: “Enough is Enough”.
“We’re showing the government that we’re watching, and we’re aware and conscious of what you’re doing,” said Lincoln Junior Gaoia Xiong. “Many of us will be able to vote soon in 2018 and 2020.”
This is a statistic that many who oppose gun violence protests may want to pay attention to. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials will surpass Baby-Boomers as the largest voter-eligible age group in 2018. This number will only increase in size come 2020.
“Our message is that we want change,” said Xiong. “We don’t want to go to school living in fear and witness another mass shooting. Our generation shouldn’t, and the generation behind us shouldn’t as well.”
“We are protesting to keep our schools safe,” said student Vanessa Waranka. “Enough is enough — our lives matter, and we are here to make a difference.”
“We’re not asking to ban guns, were just asking for stricter gun control laws.” said student Kimi Wilson.
Students took their message to the edge of the Lincoln High School sidewalk, often receiving supportive honks and praise from passing cars. They joined tens of thousands of other students across America who walked out of class for 17 minutes — one minute for each victim of February’s shooting. On March 24, the “March For Our Lives” protest is slated for Washington, with satellite marches planned across the United States.