Barton parents rally against gun violence

Parents rallied for school safety Friday morning outside of Clara Barton Open School.

Several dozen parents of Clara Barton Open School students rallied for school safety on the morning of April 20 in solidarity with other actions across the U.S.

The parents and some students held signs with messages of safety and kindness during the 20-plus minute event, which took place outside of the school and came on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.

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“Inspired by the courageous young people in Parkland, Fla., and across the nation, we are coming together to demand our leaders act and to say #NoMore to gun violence,” parents wrote in a press release about the event.

Parent Kari Sharff, who was in attendance, said she became involved with gun-control efforts after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. She said it’s important for people on both sides of the gun-control debate to realize they want the same thing, which is to protect kids.

Multiple Barton students stood outside with the parents, and several were preparing to participate in a rally at the state Capitol later in the day. Eighth-grader Nadia Bierbaum said no student should wake up and have the fear of being shot at school.

“We should keep on fighting until change is made,” she said.

Student Caleb Stipkovitz added that if students don’t keep demanding action, lawmakers won’t feel as much pressure to do something. He said one change should be banning AR-15 sales, while student Ella Scott said another should be stronger background checks.