Parkland Teens in Jackson: ‘We Can’t Turn Away from These States’

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Brandon High School senior Hannah Davis and Madison Center High School junior Victoria Long were fidgeting and jumping with excitement when the bus carrying the students touring with the "March For Our Lives: Road to Change" arrived at Presidential Hills Park in Jackson on Aug. 2.

"It's really exciting to me," Davis said. "I'm inspired."

Some of the students were from Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Fla., where a shooter killed 17 students and staff and wounded 17 more on Feb. 14. Others were students from different high schools and states who the "Road to Change" tour absorbed when it stopped near them.

Love Lundy is a junior at a high school in Huntsville, Ala. She joined the tour on Tuesday, after their stop in Birmingham. She has spoken out against gun violence since she was in eighth grade and traveling with the Road to Change group was great, she told the Jackson Free Press.

The days Lundy has spent with the other students reminded her that they are just that—students. Even when people seem to forgot they are teenagers, this helped her realize they are just like her, she said.

"I love my press, but the press has not treated them the best," Lundy, an aspiring journalist, she said in the interview.

'I'm Grieving More Now'

Recent Douglass graduate Tyra Hemans said she lost her best friend, Joaquin Oliver, in the shooting. She has spent her summer with the "Road to Change" group, advocating for gun control. Saturday would have been Oliver's 18th birthday, so Hemans said she will attend the "National March on the NRA" on Aug. 4 in Fairfax, Va., and protest in his honor.

"It's been five months since my school shooting, and I'm grieving more now because birthdays and other events are happening," Hemans told the Jackson Free Press.

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