Several students from Laramie High School are inviting the Laramie community to join them and people across the nation in a march to call for changes to make schools safer, including gun law reforms and access to mental health services.

The LHS students organizing the March for Our Lives in Laramie said in a statement that they are organizing the march because they want school to be safe for everyone.

“Students all over the nation are standing up to state that they deserve the right to be safe in school, grow up, and become our nation’s future,” their statement reads. “What happened in Florida reached our hearts and made us want to make a change.”

The student organizers said in their statement that they acknowledge in rural states like Wyoming, those changes might be a little different than in other places, but that lawmakers still have a number of responsibilities.

The students said they are calling on lawmakers to do three things: make logical reforms to gun laws to protect children, increase access to mental health care and to make the climate of schools safer and more welcoming, through stress reduction programs as well as anti-bullying and anti-harassment training.

“We ultimately believe emotionally and physically safe schools and mental health access could stop a potential shooter before the person reaches that crisis point in his or her life, but that logical reforms to gun laws are also important,” the students’ statement reads. “Our lawmakers must hear the voices of the future and not of lobbying groups, because our lives are at stake and enough is enough.”

The March for Our Lives in Laramie will begin in downtown Laramie on Saturday, March 24 by the First Street Plaza at 10:30 a.m. A rally will follow the march from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. After the march and rally, individuals who are traveling to Fort Collins, CO for the March for Our Lives event there will be decorating cars that they will take to travel to Fort Collins.

The Laramie march will coincide with the marches across the country advocating for changes to make schools safer, in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and educators dead last month.

Nichol Bondurant, an English teacher at LHS and an adult advisor for the student organizers, said she is impressed with how students all over the country, LHS students included, are having intelligent discussions about issues of national relevance.

“Our Wyoming students are having a well-rounded discussion from various perspectives to take a stand that is as unique as our beautiful landscapes,” Bondurant said. “I hope our lawmakers will really listen to the students and fight for the reforms that will make their lives safer-these students are the future and they deserve to have a future!”

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