'These threats are very real to us': Students want to be heard in Louisville march

Many of these students also participated in the National Walk Out earlier this month. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Many of these students also participated in the National Walk Out earlier this month. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A group of DuPont Manual High School students are taking part in Saturday's student led March for Our Lives in Washington D.C., to honor the Marshall County victims and to protest gun violence.

But a Louisville march is also happening downtown Saturday.

Several students told us they hope to speak to a huge crowd after the march. It begins at Waterfront Park and ends at Metro Hall. And they promise, it won't the last time you'll hear from them.

"There are conversations happening that never should ever happen," Manual junior Forest Clevenger said.

Clevenger told us he witnessed the fear that followed the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. Instead of focusing on education, Clevenger said students hear teachers talking about ladders for window escapes, and belts and chains to barricade classroom doors.

"Speaking out in Kentucky and getting that message out there to Kentuckians specifically, is very important," North Oldham High sophomore Zoe Kuhn said.

A day before the event, Manual parents and students dealt with their school being on heightened security after a threat was made.

"These threats are very real to us," Clevenger explained. "We're experiencing a threat at Manual again, and I'm receiving texts from all the people I know there. They are just frightened. It's uncomfortable, it's not what we should be thinking about."

Clevenger joins students from schools like Fairdale and North Oldham, who have done their Frankfort homework.

He said of legislation out there: "There are bills we don't like, like arming teachers. And then there's stuff like banning bump stocks, or creating a registry, or making sure that firearms are secured safely."

Kuhn is hopeful Kentucky lawmakers will listen.

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"I think they are starting to understand that it's a problem, and people are not happy with the way that things are going and to some extent, it will make a difference," she said.

Her father, Scott Kuhn, said it's hard to think about what today's students deal with.

"It's heartbreaking," he said. "Because you know, I remember when I was in school a long time ago, that's not the kind of thing we worried about."

Fairdale High junior Mustafa Abdulrazak will also speak Saturday.

"I want people to hear us," he told us. "Know that this generation is stepping up and we basically have a voice. Not just the adults, but the students have a voice."

The students said they will also soon have a vote and they'll keep talking about the problem.

Students invite teachers, school staff, community members and lawmakers to come Saturday at 1:30 p.m. to Witherspoon and Brook Streets at Waterfront Park near Louisville Slugger Field. People can begin gathering for the march any time after 12:30 pm.

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