Plainfield High School plans march to remember all victims of school violence

Plainfield school march
Student "March to Remember"
Plainfield student demonstrations
Local student demonstrations
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PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) - Many students in central Indiana will join others across the country in a walkout Wednesday. They'll be doing so to honor the victims of the Parkland massacre, with some also calling for tougher laws to better protect students from gun violence.

At Plainfield High School, students are calling their event, "A March To Remember." Seniors Anna Ardelean and Kaitlyn Booher have been working on it with school administrators for several weeks.

But their march will not be about pushing for changes in gun laws.

"Everyone has an opinion on how to respond to these events and how to fix it, but we're not focused on that...We just want to pull (our classmates) together...and promote unity and healing in the community," Anna said.

They will march to remember, not just 17 people killed in Parkland, but all other victims of school violence during their lives. They said their research shows that since the year 2000, 227 lives have been lost to school-related violence.

"As seniors, we're planning graduation parties," Kaitlyn said, "and you start thinking about those who were in kindergarten (at Sandy Hook) and never got to reach that point. Seeing 227 (lives lost to school violence) since we were born, it's a staggering number."

Besides the march, the senior class gift calls for planting a memory garden in the school's courtyard with a plaque dedicated to all victims of school violence.

"Our goal in planting the garden and the having the plaque donated by the seniors is to have a physical reminder that will last more than one day of marching," said Kaitlyn, who is the senior class president.

Both said they're glad Plainfield High students can join others across the country in a show of solidarity.

"A lot of times people don't give young people enough credit...they're always saying they don't care about current events, they don't understand what's going on and they don't think about the magnitude of their actions... but students are just kind of done... and student should have an opinion on the issue because it's students that are dying and I think it hits close home," Anna said.

Anna's mom, Stacey Ardelean, said she's proud of what her daughter, Kaitlyn, and other students are doing.

"It's inspiring to me," she said, "and it should be to all in the community that are kids are so well-grounded and wear their heart on their sleeves."

Wednesday's event will also honor local police officers and firefighters. Because of security reasons, the school isn't announcing what time the march will take place, just that it will probably last about 15-20 minutes and that students choosing not to participate will be able to go to the gym instead.

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