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Students participate in March for Our Lives

 

Courtesy Photo

Local students take part in the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. on March 24. From left, Tom Roe from Lakewood High School, Jocelyn van der Put from Lake Stevens High School, Mikaylah Himmelberger and Bailey Thoms from Marysville Getchell High School and Katie Dalton from Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Five students from around the county were flown to Washington, D.C., to participate in the March for Our Lives on March 24.

The March for Our Lives was a national gun violence protest that has come in the wake of February's Parkland, Fla., school shooting in which 17 students were killed.

Fundraising done in February and March helped to pay for the trip for local students.

"We had some fundraisers for a week or two and we raised enough to send five of us," said Bailey Thoms, a Marysville Getchell International School of Communications student.

The fundraising was a project of Roger Gable, an Everett local who owns a piano tuning business there.

Gable put ads out to gather students who wanted to participate in the march and to raise the money.

He ended up with about $12,000 which was enough to send five students and two chaperones to the protest.

Lakewood High School student Tom Roe got involved when he saw one of those ads.

"They wanted to send student representatives to Washington, D.C.," he said.

Roe said that he has become more involved in politics in the last few years.

"Especially as I've gotten older I've been very involved in politics," he said, which is why he wanted to participate in the March.

Both of Roe's parents are prosecuting attorneys who have dealt with cases of gun violence, he said, which also motivated him to protest for more solutions against gun violence.

Marysville-Pilchuck High School student Katie Dalton also wanted to go to Washington, D.C., to have her voice heard.

"I was happy to go down there to get my voice heard, and also to represent Marysville because there are lot of people who were affected here by gun violence," she said.

This was the first time going to Washington, D.C., for all of the students involved.

"This was actually my first trip out of Washington state and my first time I've ever ridden on a plane," said Dalton.

Thoms said she was really excited about the trip and getting to see the sights around the nation's capital.

"When I found out I was going to go to D.C., I was ecstatic. It was the only thing I could think of for three or four weeks," said Roe.

For Roe and Dalton, it was also the first protest they had ever been a part of.

"It was amazing. That many people all together for the same reason," said Roe. "It made me hopeful."

Hundreds of thousands of people came out for the protest.

"We were a little overwhelmed and it was kind of stressful," said Dalton.

"I can't even describe the feeling of being there and being able to go out and stand up for something I believe in," she said.

She said it was one of the best experiences of her life.

"I thought it was awesome. I want to participate in more," she said.

Thoms said it was good to see the amount of people come out for it.

"It was really eye-opening and crazy to see all the kids and parents and grandparents coming out for the same cause," she said.

Courtesy Photo

Marysville Getchell High School students Mikaylah Himmelberger, right, and Bailey Thoms take part in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., on March 24.

Students hoped that changes could be made to prevent more gun violence in the future.

"I know that something needs to be done about it," said Dalton. "Gun violence affects all of us in all communities."

"I think that something needs to change. A lot of people differ on how to fix the issue, but something needs to happen to protect the students," said Roe.

Thoms is hopeful that the recent Florida shooting will be a turning point.

"Since the Parkland shooting happened, and I don't why exactly, but people have been speaking up more," she said.

"Now I feel like something will actually come about," she said.

Roe wanted to thank those that put together or helped fund the trip for the local students.

"I'm super thankful for Roger for putting this together and all the people that donated," he said.

 

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