COLUMBUS (WCMH) — On Saturday, March 24th thousands of students will make their way to Washington, DC for March for Our Lives; a student-run rally to push legislators for stronger gun laws. Making the trip are dozens of students from central Ohio.
Seven students and two staff members from The Academy for Urban Scholars High School will be on a bus for DC with 150 others from our area.
17-year-old senior Jaion Hemsley is one of the students making the trip. He has a message for Washington lawmakers.
“I’m going to tell them I’m a survivor,” he said. “I would tell them to get up and take a stand. This could be your children, this could be your kids’ children, your grandkids dying from gun violence. This is a serious epidemic.”
Hemsley said in his neighborhood guns are everywhere. He was shot in the leg when he was just 15.
“I have lost a couple friends to gun violence and I have been shot myself due to gun violence so it really hits home when we talk about gun violence,” he said.
His teacher Nneka Bonds will make the trip with Hemsley and six other students. She said it’s a chance for students to put the lessons they’ve been learning in the classroom into action.
“We talk about this… your voice, your vote, your energy it matters,” said Bonds.
She said Jaion and the kids she teaches make her proud.
“They’re inspiring not just each other, but they’re inspiring us adults who have been a part of the process who might have lost reason to participate ourselves,” she said.
Jaion said his generation won’t stay quiet.
“It’s about time to stand up.”
Two buses from Columbus and one from Cleveland are leaving for DC late in the evening on Friday, March 23rd. RISE Travel is organizing the trip and there are still spots available. For more information visit https://www.rise-travel.com/ or contact Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org