ACTIVISM

Manuel Oliver creates a mural outside South Congregational Church in Springfield, Massachusetts, on April 20, 2018.
Alden Bourne / NEPR

The father of one of the students killed in Parkland, Florida in February was in Springfield, Massachusetts, on Friday, making his opinions known through art.

At 10:00 am Friday morning, hundreds of students walked out of Ridgefield High School to send a message to lawmakers that they want new gun legislation enacted. Theirs was one of 2,500 schools across the country taking part in the day of action.

Parkland Parent Paints Mural In Springfield, Mass., To Call For Gun Control

23 hours ago
Patricia and Manuel Oliver lost their son, Joaquin, in the Parkland school shooting. Now Manuel is touring the country installing murals calling for more gun control.
Amy Gorel / WBUR

More than two months ago, Nikolas Cruz allegedly entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and opened fire. In all, he shot and killed 17 people, leaving another 17 wounded.

When Lane Murdock, a high school sophomore, heard that 17 high school students and educators had been killed in a shooting in Parkland, Fla., she says she felt numb.

To her, and so many others, mass shootings can feel all too common in the U.S.

"In the time I've been in high school we've had the Pulse, Las Vegas and now, [the Parkland] shooting," Murdock says.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that district administrators in Stonington did not respond to a request for comment. In fact, Stonington High School Principal Mark Friese responded to WNPR in an email before the story was published, and he provided his account of the day’s events, which is now included.

Stonington High School junior Caroline Morehouse was excited when she learned that her school would allow students to walkout of class to protest gun violence in a nationwide day of action on March 14. She'd be standing in solidarity with students from Parkland, Florida, who only a month earlier had lost 17 classmates in yet another school shooting.

On Saturday afternoon, protesters filled the lawn in front of the Vermont Statehouse — where just the night before, House lawmakers gave preliminary approval to a bill that would strengthen gun control laws in the state.

Three Connecticut students took center stage Saturday at the “March For Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C., organized in response to last month’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered on Boston Common for Saturday’s March for Our Lives rally in support of stricter gun laws.

The Boston demonstration against gun violence was among hundreds of protests taking place across the U.S. Saturday in the wake of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

Updated on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to demand tougher gun control measures, part of a wave of political activism among students and others impacted by school shootings.

High school students around the country plan to travel to Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the March For Our Lives. They're calling on Congress to take action to end gun violence in schools.

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