‘Enough is enough’: Students take to Capitol steps to protest in-school gun violence


A student from Frederick Douglas High School holds a sign during the March for Our Lives protest at the Kentucky State Capitol on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Sydney Hill

Kentucky students rallied against school gun violence on a dreary Tuesday afternoon on the Kentucky capitol steps in Frankfort.

The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team organized a protest and encouraged Kentucky high schoolers to express their informed opinions about violence in their schools. About 200 people attended the protest.

The protest, billed as the March For Our Lives Kentucky, began around 5 p.m. despite the awful weather. Kentucky students, parents and administrators surrounded the podium on the capitol stairs. Written signs were held expressing opinions such as “No vote, No voice” and “Enough is Enough.”

“It’s becoming a new normal and that’s what’s troubling,” said Zachariah Sippy, a senior at Henry Clay High School and director of Grassroot, an initiative for the Student Voice Team.

“We hope that dozens of students make their voices heard to our state house,” Sippy said. “Our state senate, and our governor—hopefully they will take action from listening to us.”

Despite all the efforts taken by the Kentucky students, they still demanded action, an action that will result in students not fearing or dreading walking through their school’s front doors every morning.

Kentucky students shared personal testimonies and insight on the issue at hand and how they believe the problems of the violence are rooted deeper than the surface level descriptions society chooses to use.

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers was invited by The Student Voice to talk a little bit about the violence that’s been happening in schools and some of the gun issues.

“To me it seems like for some of our young people today, the importance of life is lost on them and I think you got to remind them, you got to remind them,” Weathers said. “You can’t let them think that they’re not important, and that nobody else is important. Everybody is important.”

Weathers said that when students “start fooling around with guns and you start getting involved with violence, you lose that respect for life.”

Sippy said the Student Voice Team organized a teach-in earlier on Tuesday that brought to light the next steps towards action.

“We spoke with the director of the legislative research commission about how to lobby, we spoke with Susan Weston, an education analyst about what we can do in the educations fair and we held a workshop about how can we empower students to be leaders in their own communities,” Sippy said.

Nasim Mohammadzadeh, a sophomore at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, said the students are the ones in the classroom and experiencing the issues, so they are the ones who need to start taking action.

“The goal of this is to empower people to take a stand and stop being about ‘thoughts and prayers,’ and start taking action instead,” Mohammadzadeh said.

“Enough is enough,” Sippy said.