Hickory – Leading a call to action in the wake of the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, students from Hickory-area local high schools will hold a march in demand of government action toward safer schools. To be held the same day as the larger event in Washington, D.C. and similar student-led marches across the country, March For Our Lives Hickory will begin at 10am March 24, 2018 at the YMCA Teen Center where speakers, including former mayoral candidate Will Locke, prominent local educators, and student organizers will address those in attendance. After the speakers, demonstrators will march from the YMCA to Union Square downtown.

From March for Our Lives’ mission statement: The mission and focus of March for Our Lives is to create a reality in which all students, faculty, and educational administrators feel safe, secure, protected, and valued attending school.

We demand governmental action to reach this goal. We believe in the right of a quality education for all and see the rampant gun violence plaguing our country as a horrific violation of that right.

Every day, an average of 7 children and teenagers are killed by guns in the United States. How many children have to die before we take action? We refuse to stand idly by while our lives and the lives of our peers are threatened and senselessly taken each and every day. We cannot, in good c

onscience, allow our leaders to sit in comfortable complacency while they deprive us of the very right to life they are sworn to protect. We demand the U.S. Congress and the North Carolina Legislature to:

1. Pass a comprehensive and effective bill requiring universal background checks nationwide. No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of this critical legislation.

2. Pass legislation banning the sale of assault weapons to civilians nationwide.

3 Raise the legal age for the purchase of firearms.

4. Require and enforce mental health reporting to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System in all states.

5. Allocate and prioritize proper mental health care resources for schools and communities. In addition to calling for comprehensive gun control legislation, we wish to start a conversation about improving the mental health care system in America.

All concerned citizens, regardless of age or political orientation, are encouraged to attend. Wantto get involved? Connect with March For Our Lives Hickory on Instagram(@marchforourliveshickory) or Facebook. Want to contribute? Check out our GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/march-for-our-lives-hickory-nc

For more information about March For Our Lives Hickory, please email Brock Pate at: brockpate@uchigh.com

For more information regarding the nationwide demonstration, visit www.marchforourlives.com