Kalamazoo Central students launch petition for change after Florida shooting

Posted at 10:55 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 22:57:05-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Seniors at Kalamazoo Central High School created a petition in hopes of convincing lawmakers to make changes to gun laws, and help make schools and society safer.

The petition was created a day after the mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday. It already has more than 4,000 signatures.

“This petition is trying to give a voice to the voiceless, the students," said one of the students, Jake Foles. "We don’t have the ability to vote, we’re trying to be heard in any way we can.”

Wednesday's mass shooting in Florida hit home with area students because many people were impacted by the deadly Kalamazoo shootings two years ago. Six people died and two others were critically injured by alleged gunman Jason Dalton.

“It’s something that’s already affecting us, something we’re directly in involved in that we need to action about, because frankly a lot people in Congress aren’t doing much. And we want to see something happen," said Julia Kemple-Johnson, another student.

It's a petition that students hope will lead to a  law to make guns illegal on school campuses altogether.

“We’re trying to take this petition as far as we can, make the legislature enact laws that will help make us feel safe in schools," said Kemple-Johnson. "We shouldn’t have to go to school every other week and talk about another shooting.”

“There’s no place for guns in schools" said Foles. "When we’re at school, we should be focused on our education. We shouldn’t have to worry at all about guns that could end our lives in an instant," he said.

In a Facebook post, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow said she stands with students wanting change in gun laws, and it's time for action.

FOX 17 reached out to Michigan Congressman Fred Upton's office for comment about the petition, but we haven't heard back.