Students Demand Leaders Address the Root Causes of Gun Violence
As part of #Enough, the National School Walkout, hundreds of Baltimore high school students marched to demand gun control, increased accountability for the police force, and more funding for the school system
STUDENTS: Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.
TITLE CARD: One month after the Parkland school shooting that claimed 17 lives, students in Baltimore, Maryland marched in solidarity with victims of gun violence nationwide.
STUDENTS: I don’t know but you’ve been told, protecting guns is getting old.
DESTINY DESHIELDS: Hi, my name is Destiny DeShields, and we’re out here basically to protest the gun violence that happens in cities like Chicago and Baltimore, and also in solidarity with the Parkland shooting.
JAISAL NOOR: A lot of students around the country are targeting the White House today. What’s your message to Donald Trump and the NRA?
DESTINY DESHIELDS: Well, the fact that we need to defund the NRA because of the fact that they basically want to support the fact students are dying and they don’t want to take control of what’s happening.
STUDENT: We’re 18, we can get guns now. I mean, that’s not a good thing.
JAISAL NOOR: And you also have a message for the mayor? We asked her about that money, the hundred thousand dollars she was gonna spend towards the 60 buses to take students to D.C. She said it was all coming from private money, there’s no tax dollars going towards that.
ERICA RODRIGUEZ: My name is Erica Rodriguez and I got something to say to the mayor. You wasted all that money on other things and that’s cool for [her], ’cause we’re doing it for a purpose. But, we still got no heat.
JAISAL NOOR: You have no heat in your school?
STUDENTS: No. We gotta wear coats to class. We wearing big coats to class. They always have the windows open for some reason.
STUDENT: It feels like out here in there.
JAISAL NOOR: Can you say your name please?
STUDENT: My name is [inaudible] McDonald and I wear this coat in school. This big, I wear this.
DESTINY DESHIELDS: The fact is that during the protest that we had a few weeks ago, she wanted to dismiss us to a national level. However, she didn’t want to talk about the issues that happened in her own city. The fact that our schools are defunded and she wants to waste a hundred thousand dollars to go to D.C. to talk about our problems to D.C., but however, she doesn’t let us talk to her about our problems.
JAISAL NOOR: What can the mayor do to address violence and the root causes of violence right here in Baltimore?
DESTINY DESHIELDS: So we’re asking her to, we want to talk to her about police brutality and the fact that she needs to have police training for her police department. That’s the root cause we’re talking about. The gun violence coming from police officers.
STUDENT: I’m [Taran] Wilson and I’m in the 9th grade. And I just wanted to say I’m afraid to go to school in the morning because I might get shot. You shouldn’t be scared to go to school because you might get killed. You’re scared to go learn, which is supposed to be fun but, you’re afraid to do something that’s supposed to be entertaining.
JAISAL NOOR: Where do you live in Baltimore, what neighbor…?
STUDENT: I live in East Baltimore, by Patterson Park.
JAISAL NOOR: Okay.
STUDENT: And it’s still more gun violence and I’m afraid to go outside because of all the gun violence. It’s unsafe for me and my peers just to even go outside to learn.
JAISAL NOOR: And do you have family or friends that have been affected by gun violence?
STUDENT: Yes. My grandma’s husband actually got killed right next door to our house. So, it’s a really big thing that’s affected me in my life personally.
JAISAL NOOR: And what’s your message to the mayor? What do you want the mayor to do about gun violence in Baltimore?
STUDENT: I just want her to help us stop being afraid to go to school in the morning, ’cause we might just get killed. That’s all I wanted to say.
JAISAL NOOR: Thank you so much.