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Gun Violence: Kentucky Students say "We've Had Enough"

In the wake of recent deadly shootings, including one in Marshall County, several March for Our Lives rallies will be held in Kentucky this weekend. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)
In the wake of recent deadly shootings, including one in Marshall County, several March for Our Lives rallies will be held in Kentucky this weekend. (Lorie Shaull/Flickr)
March 23, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Forest Clevenger, an 11th grade student at duPont Manual High School, says in the wake of all the mass shootings, including one in Marshall County that left two people dead and more than a dozen injured, students and teachers are fearing for their lives and asking questions that should never have to be asked.

"I've gotten texts from my friends asking if I know which way the doors open at school, because if they open out we can't barricade them from the inside,” says Clevenger. “We have teachers going out and preparing themselves for shooters. People have bought chains for the doors, ladders for their windows. It's not right, and we've had enough."

The Louisville march begins at 1:30 p.m.. At least ten similar marches are scheduled across Kentucky including in Bowling Green, Lexington, Marshall County and Pikeville.

Opponents of gun-control measures say they aren't effective tools for preventing gun violence and infringe on Americans' Second Amendment rights.

While common-sense gun reform is the main message, Clevenger notes conversations also are needed about bullying and mental health. He notes just this week, legislation to create trauma-informed schools, HB 604, overwhelmingly passed the Kentucky House.

"You had bipartisanship that was just frankly inspiring around this reform that students were crying out for,” he says. “It would put a trauma-care professional in schools for every 1,500 kids, and require that students go through psychological screenings at the same times they get their immunizations."

According to the March for Our Lives website, more than 800 sibling protests are scheduled worldwide.

Clevenger explains the march is only a kick-off to the reforms students will be fighting for. On Tuesday, about 150 students rallied against gun violence outside the state Capitol in Frankfort, and later many attended a teach-in to learn about activism.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY