Tampa students rally for action against gun violence

- Hundreds of students in Tampa marched to Curtis Hixon Park Friday afternoon, capping off a week of student-led calls for action in the wake of the school shooting in Broward County.

The demonstration started at Blake High School when about 100 students began marching toward the park after school.

"We all believe that something needs to happen. Kids can't keep dying," said Rebekah Woei, a student at Blake.

"It's important to get active because if you don't get active, nothing will really happen," added Woei's classmate, Erika Watkins. "I'm out here today to change something, to move something. Whether it changes tomorrow, whether it changes in years, this time, this day counts. Every day counts."

Students chanted, urging lawmakers to strengthen the state's gun laws.

During the mile walk, dozens of students from throughout Tampa joined in, more than doubling the size of the group by the time they stopped marching.

"We're going to grow up in this world and if we are then we should have a say in how we're living," said Rebekah Woei, a student at Blake, adding the shooting in Parkland hit home for her and her friends. "When situations like that happen, you don't know how to feel. It seems like it's not real and you realize that it's something that's close to home and that could have been anybody. It could have been here."

The protest in Tampa ended a week in which students throughout the state held walk-outs and other demonstrations in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 14 students and three faculty members.

Several parents from Blake told FOX 13 they're proud to see a movement of this magnitude led by teenagers.

"I'm very proud of the students because this is all about them," said Sheryl Basham, the mother of an 11th Grade student. "They're the next generation that's going to have to raise their kids and deal with this, so if they can make an impact now, they can see that they have a powerful voice."

"It's still bringing me to tears. I can't even stand it," added Christine Ginty, whose 11th Grade daughter helped organize the march. "The fact that they have the guts and care enough to say, 'we're the future and we care about these things that are going on,' is just mind-blowing to me."

After arriving at Curtis Hixon Park, organizers lined up photos of the victims from Parkland. There were also a series of speeches and a vigil to remember the students and faculty killed last week.

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