DALLAS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- At Dallas High School in Luzerne County, more than 100 students took to the football field on Wednesday morning not for a game, but for something much more serious.
“Why does someone else’s right to own a gun outweigh my right to live?” One student asked the crowd.
“We have to work together to get stuff done,” shouted another.
Exactly one month after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, students in Dallas said they’re speaking up for those who had their voices violently taken away.
“My greatest joy in life is my three nieces and my nephew, who I think are growing up in a time of great change. I want to see them grow up in a world where this is unheard of. I want to be part of that fight to make sure I leave a brighter world for them,” senior Madalyn Arthur said.
“We're honestly so numb to it now, it's really disappointing. That's why we really need change. We shouldn't be numb to 17 of our peers being lost in a school shooting,” Senior Andrew Francis said.
The ceremony was organized and led by students. They did not have a specific policy change in mind, but they want to see lawmakers work with one another.
“Something needs to be done. Whether it's mental illness counseling or gun laws, we just need a change and we need it soon,” junior Chloe Scott said.
The ceremony lasted 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 lives that were lost in the Parkland shooting. Students said they left feeling uplifted.
“There are no words for the love that I felt here today,” Arthur said.
Dallas superintendent Thomas Duffy said school safety is his top priority.
Within the last couple of years, the administration had brought in better surveillance cameras and new rules to get into the buildings, but there’s always more they can do.
“It's one of those topical areas where we're never finished. We're never done. It's never good enough. It's a conversation that's ongoing within the district,” Duffy said.
It doesn’t stop here for students. They said they are already planning to have more active shooter safety drills in school.
Some are also going to March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. later this month.