A call for students to walk out of Blue Springs schools to protest gun violence on March 7 has received the support of more than 2,600 people.
Miriya Stiles, identified as a student in the district, started a petition on the Change.org on Monday calling for “all schools in Blue Springs to stage a walkout, to peacefully protests our rights as students,” the online document says.
By Friday afternoon the petition had received 2,673 signatures. Stiles has set a goal to get at least 5,000 signatures.
Stiles told news outlets on Friday that gun violence “is something that we feel strongly about, and this is something that matters to us. So we’re going to do whatever it takes to make our point and save lives...”
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
District officials said they support the students’ efforts express themselves and on Friday met with some of the students putting the plan together. The meeting was held “to make sure that it is an organized and safe event,” said Katie Woolf, district spokeswoman.
Some who signed the Stiles petition also made pleas to the district.
Celia Allen posted to the petition site that she firmly believes in “the safety of not just myself and my younger siblings in the district but all students here and around the country.”
She also said it makes her sad to have to type such a message.
“I just want kids to have their right to education without feeling as if they are constantly in danger.”
The Stiles petition is one of several others that have appeared on the website calling for some type of gun limitation action since the Valentines Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Student survivors of the shooting and their supporters have staged a series of protests calling for the ban of certain assault rifles, like the AR-15 used by confessed shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. He is accused of gunning down 14 students and three teachers during a 6-minute rampage inside the school.
And this past week during wave of student-led demonstrations from Arizona to Maine, students at dozens of U.S. high schools walked out of classes to make their personal views about gun violence known.
Hundreds of students from Maryland schools left class to rally at the U.S. Capitol this week. Even Kansas City Mayor Sly James, in a letter to area students published in The Star, called for them to “demand that the politicians protect your constitutional right to life...”
A national “March for Our Lives” is set for March 24, in Washington, D.C.
And on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students have planned a National High School student walkout asking students to wear orange to connect to the movement against gun violence.