Tosa West Students March for their Lives

Students participate in March for Our Lives event in Milwaukee

Approximately a dozen West students and a teacher attended one of the ‘March for Our Lives’ demonstrations on Saturday March 24th.  The main march was scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. but led to an estimated 800 “sibling” events across the country including in Milwaukee.


‘March for Our Lives’ was organized by survivors of the Stoneman Marjory Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 14 students were killed by a former student. The students are calling for support of tighter gun laws and control. A lot of activists are marching for different ideas of more gun control such as assault weapon bans and airtight background checks. The event in Milwaukee was held outside of the Milwaukee Courthouse at 10am and the march led to Red Arrow Park several blocks away. Student and adult activists gave speeches before and after the march.

Photo by Annika Noorlander
Photo by Annika Noorlander

Several student Senate members from Tosa West along with their advisor, Social Studies teacher Padi Kong attended the march. They were joined by other students who attend West at the Courthouse. The Journal Sentinel reported thousands of students and supporters marched in Milwaukee. There were marches in 800 locations across the nation and more that 2 million are estimated to have participated.


“It was really cold outside but you would have never known because there was just so much positive energy all around us,” said Wauwatosa West Social Studies teacher and Student Council Advisor Padi Kong.


All good things were said about the march from students who attended. They had positive outlooks on not only the event but the possibility and hope of change that will come because of it.


“The atmosphere was very positive. There were a lot of people in one place who came together for a change they wanted, and that was really neat,” said Wauwatosa West Freshman Bella Minahan.


Several of West’s students felt that this kind of event will strike change in our country and they could tell based on the atmosphere and attitude of the people.


“It was so inspiring. When you feel all these people around you that are so motivated to reach the same goal and you’re ready to fight for it, it is a mood you can’t really describe,” said Wauwatosa West Freshman Gaby Sweeney.


March for Our Lives was created to give the students a voice and an outlet for their opinions. It brought a lot of people together and the student speakers impacted not only the students but the older generations that were attending the march.


“In Milwaukee one of the student speakers said, ‘We are 25% of the population but we’re 100% of the future.’ That got a lot of cheers and I love that students can really get inspired by their peers,” said Kong.

Although the point of the march was allowing students to have a voice on the issue, the turn-out of different attendees ranged in age and differing opinions, allowing a lot of different people to come together to create change.


“I honestly think it will cause the government to get into some big conversations which will inevitably cause change. I know we, the people, aren’t going anywhere and are demanding change, so my hope is the government will see this and try to follow,” said Wauwatosa West Senior  Jade Grippe.

Annika Noorlander
Photo by Annika Noorlander

The march was organized to create change and to spread awareness of the issue. Students at West and other activists are hoping the marches across the country on Saturday and continued movements will bring change. The march was intended to give students an outlet to speak on this issue but it also brought a variety of other activists and supporters.

“There were people from all background and all ages. This little old lady handed me an orange bracelet she made and then there’s little kids going around chanting with their little signs, there are the teens and students who are standing up and then adults and politicians who want to stand by,” said Wauwatosa West freshman Gaby Sweeney.


For some of the marchers, Saturday was just the beginning. Students from Shorewood High School have started the “50 Miles More March” where they are walking 50 miles in four days from Madison to Janesville Wisconsin. Janesville is the hometown of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. It started after the march on Saturday and students should arrive on Wednesday. Students are marching here because Paul Ryan has been playing a large role in obstructing the idea and chance of future gun reform. You can follow the students on their march towards Janesville and their purpose on their homepage.