A long-time peace activist in Buffalo is very proud of the recent activism by Western New York students. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the Western New York Peace Center is part of the current ‘NeverAgain’ movement to stop gun violence.
Students from Buffalo to the suburbs have been active in rallies and demonstrations fighting against mass shootings at schools. More protests and events are expected this week at some area high schools as students mark the 19th anniversary of Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999.
Western New York Peace Center Executive Director Victoria Ross is pleased students are standing in solidarity.
“Very inspired and excited. Now students have been coming out, different students, but what was an occasional trickle has really become a flood and they feel that they can do it – the time is now,” said Ross.
Ross points out that teens and children have a history of being involved in marches, even tracing back more than five decades.
“You go back to the children's march of 1963 where children actually got arrested because their parents didn’t dare. We are so excited to be working with this young people and just having that fire and that passion for doing it,” Ross stated.
WBFO News asked Ross what students need to learn to continue their activism.
“A certain amount of patience is needed for the determination to really take root – because they are determined, so we just have to keep on through the bumpy spots or even scary spots and just keep right on and I feel like we have a real opportunity,” Ross replied.
This Friday on the Columbine anniversary students at Mount St. Mary Academy will join health care professional, elected and community leaders to discussing safety, mental health issues and student advocacy.