“I saw a headline the other day,” said student organizer Christie Gillies. “It read: ‘A Unique American Ritual, The School Shooting.’ Is this what we’re going to let these shootings become, a tradition? A practice so perfected by years of experience that we have protocols about how to act, what to say, where students should put their hands as they run out of school as a gunman is pursuing their friends? Is this normal?”
"At Cape Elizabeth High, the event will include an appearance by Maine Gun Safety Coalition executive director Nick Wilson... 'They, the students, are keeping this story (the Parkland shooting) alive, and I think we’re all surprised by how involved they are,' Wilson said. 'As a movement and as a generation, we’ve failed these young people by not closing the loopholes in gun laws. Now we need to support them and get out of their way.'"
“We should have the right to feel safe in our classroom,” said Jackson Peck, a senior at Nokomis who also organized Thursday’s walkout, addressing the students gathered at the front of the high school. “Students and teachers all across this state and all across this country should not be fearful that their brothers, sisters, friends and teachers may become one more name on a growing list of victims. So I applaud you all for standing up for change.”
“If protests were always popular, women wouldn't have the right to vote and black people would still be slaves,” said student organizer JacksonPeck. “Activism can start at any age and its importance is always there. Especially for younger generations in this country, it’s important for us to voice our opinions. I can vote. I can go out and vote, why should I not be able to voice my opinions?”
“You know it's our lives that are being impacted by it and a lot of the people in power have never felt the type of fear students who are going to school today have to fear and so it's important that we get that message out,” Sage Waterson, Senior at Yarmouth High School.
“I don’t want to go to school worried for my safety because politicians value the right of a gun over my right to live,” said 14-year-old Marcello Santomenna.