Montgomery County high school students welcome Florida school shooting survivors in inspiring visit
SILVER SPRING, Md. - Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida were on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers Monday. From there, they went straight to Montgomery County to meet with other students for a conversation at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.
The event was closed to media, parents and community members, and was meant to be a conversation between students about preventing mass shootings and gun violence in America.
The gathering was organized by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, D-Fla.
It was open to all Montgomery County high school students and ended up at capacity with about 600 students attending.
The students FOX 5 spoke to seemed inspired as they left the event.
"I feel like I need to make a change more now than I have been because I think our generation, like they were saying inside, has so much of an impact and we can do so much more than we think we can," said senior student Julia Rich.
"I am ready to get involved, ready to march," said junior Saran Kaur. "I think it just really got everybody inspired and pumped up."
"Basically registering to vote was something that they really hit hard on because that can make the most impact, and we all talked about basically we are the generation that can change things, we are the generation that can end mass shootings in the United States," said junior Aidan Kilpatrick.
"I hadn't realized how big of a movement it was," said Melody Zhang, a junior student. "But after coming to this event, I feel so inspired and so empowered to do something."
Rep. Deutch said this is the first school outside of Florida that the Parkland students have visited for an event like this.
The students will be back on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Rep. Raskin said they will be meeting with lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan.