Evans High School students are calling for all of CSRA to 'march for their lives'

Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018
(News 12 at 11)

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT)--Across the country groups are coming together to plan demonstrations for stricter gun laws after the Parkland shooting. Four Evans High School students are heading up a march in the CSRA.

It's called March For Our Lives, a national demonstration that's set for March 24th. Local Parents, teachers and students came to the auditorium at the Columbia County Board of Commissioners building to talk planning.

"Realizing you go to high school, you're their age. School for them was as normal as your school day was on February 14." Abby Brooks said, "You didn't expect anything like that to happen, they didn't expect that but it happened to them. So it can happen to anyone."

Brooks let that sink in so heavy, she and three other Evans Knights had to do something.

It led them to building A-- the location of their 5:30 public meeting. A meeting that lasted a little over an hour with open floor discussion,
a presentation and small group brainstorming.

"It's pretty crazy that we are so young but we do have a voice," organizer Alyssa Johnson said. A voice they're using to make their
message heard loud and clear.

Emily Ball, another leader behind the march, pleaded, "We should not be afraid to go to school and be afraid that somebody is going to walk in with a gun and shoot us." She added, "We shouldn't have to live in fear of that happening."

Her friend and fellow organizer, Emily Powell, shared those same sentiments:

"You don't know what's in like to sit in class and to think about the 17 people that died just a few hours away from where you're at," Powell echoed. "You don't know what it's like to be sitting in class and think oh my gosh what if this happens today, what if this happens in my school."

People from across the CSRA sat down to talk marketing, fundraising, logistics and programming for March 24th.

The four young women--Emily Ball, Emilie Powell, Alyssa Johnson and Abby Brooks-- are doing what they can to make the national, the local. But don't remember their names, they say. It's about the names of the 17 others who lost their lives.

Those at the meeting were asked to put their own names down on sign-up sheets. Each person offering ideas to make the walk peaceful and productive.

"I don't think you have to be a politician to want change and actually make change," Johnson explained.

So politics aside, "Everytime another shooting happens it just seems to get closer and closer where we are," Ball added.
Politics considered, "The mentality, it's not going to stop," Brooks chimed. "But the fact that he got an AR-15, that can stop."

This was the first meeting but March for Our Lives CSRA will keep meeting because they hope to go back to school one day and not be afraid.

The team is currently working to get permission from Columbia County on which roads can be used for the march.
News 12 will keep you updated on the event.