'Tired of seeing it:' Students speak out against gun violence at Milwaukee County Courthouse
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Students from 14 Milwaukee-area schools walked out of class on Friday, Dec. 13, protesting state gun laws.
The protest was organized after an officer-involved shooting at Waukesha South High School.
After school, students from all across the Milwaukee area arrived a the County Courthouse and held a press conference telling lawmakers they're sick of gun violence, both in and outside of the classroom.
"The children just balling their eyes out and crying in just pure horror of the possibility that this could have been the last time that any of them saw their friends, or that morning could have been the last time that they saw their parents," said Wauwatoa West High School student Michael Orlowski.
For other teenagers, concerns extend beyond school walls.
"I was held up at gunpoint," said Laura Mercado-Martinez, student at St. Anthony High School. "Luckily, I'm OK, and everyone else is OK, but I've been dealing with post-traumatic stress for three years now."
Elizabeth Batory of Pius High School, lost her father earlier this year. "He was ambushed in his own home and shot in the mouth," she said.
This was the first time she got to speak out to a crowd against gun violence. "I'm tired of seeing it, and I miss my dad."
Franklin's Tyler Kelly says schools like his, which didn't allow protests, sent the wrong message.
"They teach us how to hide. They ask us what should we throw at an intruder, but they won't let us stand up for what we believe," he said.
While many students were speaking out for each other, Batory says it's her duty to her father to try and make a change.
"You get the 'I'm sorry's,' and then everyone goes away because they don't want to hear it, and it's too overwhelming," she said. "It's good to be able to say it."
Students say even if the protests don't result in new laws, they're proud of how many people they got involved and the awareness they brought to the issue.