March for Our Lives takes change to the streets

Chase Freeman | Contributor

Students, teachers and community members participated in the March for Our Lives movement across the nation March 24 including events in Nashville and Cookeville.

The student-led movement advocating stricter gun control formed after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.

In Cookeville, a group of citizens met at the Putnam Courthouse Square and brought signs to protest for stricter gun control. Officials estimated 12,000 people attended the march in Nashville, according to an article in The Tennessean.

Although students organized the march, parents, teachers and community members also attended.

Mary Roop, a fifth-grade teacher at Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, said she attended the Nashville march to voice her love for her students.

“In my heart, and in the hearts of my co-workers, guns have no place in schools and should be regulated. It’s all about the kids. We would all do anything for our kids, even die for them if need be, but that shouldn’t be on our minds.”

Roop said she also participated to protest proposals that teachers carry guns.

“I shouldn’t have to walk into work thinking about what 10-year-old I might have to shoot today. That isn’t my place and it’s not my job. I attended to be one small voice adding with other small voices to create a loud shout of change,” she said.

Chase Freeman, who also participated in the Nashville march, said it reminded him of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. last year.

“Through making signs, chanting and just simply being present today, there’s a vibe of wanting a change and all of us coming together, especially the younger generation, to ensure that there can even be a future for more generations to come,” he said.

Freeman said the movement wasn’t violent but the participants had the same “we’ve had enough” mindset.

For more information about the movement, go to