CLEARWATER, Fla. (WTSP) – It could happen to anyone. It could’ve been them.
That’s the unsettling feeling students at Clearwater High School still have exactly one month after 17 students were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
It’s also the feeling that propelled them to action.
Students at Clearwater High School, along with many other students in the Tampa Bay area and across the country, took part in National Walkout Day on Wednesday to in remembrance of the Parkland shooting victims. The national demonstration was organized to call on lawmakers to enact stricter gun control laws, although students at Clearwater High say their solidarity with Stoneman Douglas students outweighs the politics of the protest.
“The walkout really represents everybody being able to come together for one thing,” said Lindsey Belcher, a junior at Clearwater High School. “Just because we’re teenagers doesn’t mean we can’t all come together.”
She and another classmate, William Wallace, will also emcee a special program at their school to honor those at Stoneman Douglas impacted by the tragedy.
“I think people have gotten to the point of 'enough is enough,' and the fact that it's happened so close to us here is kind of what I believe has moved us because you never think that it's going to happen to you,” Wallace said.
They will also hear from a Caitlin Gumiela, a teaching intern at Clearwater High, who lost her first cousin in the shooting.
"We're the future, and so the fact that we can all come together and unite as one and do something for a good cause is hopefully something we will be able to do as adults, too,” Belcher said. “Because a lot of adults in the world have trouble coming together.”