Students protest to support Safe Schools Act

Students protest at the State House. Photo by Tessa Roy, WPRO News


By Tessa Roy, WPRO News

As Wednesday’s House session began, a group of students wearing black t shirts with red targets on the backs stood in the House Gallery with their hands behind their heads. The students, with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, protested to support action on the Safe Schools Act.

The Safe Schools Act would allow only resource officers and authorized personnel to carry guns at schools. It went before the House Judiciary committee in April but stalled as it was held for further study.

“Even if the Safe Schools Act saves one life, it’s worth it. We’ve banned lawn darts and Kinder Surprise Eggs in the U.S., so obviously we’re not opposed to passing regulatory legislation to protect our people,” said Tollgate Valedictorian Grace Reed in a statement. “Banning the concealed carry guns in schools will help prevent both tragic accidents and intentional incidents of gun violence in the future.”

Devyn, a student from Westerly who protested in the Gallery, says her school and many others could benefit from the passage of the Act.

“It benefits everyone and it has nothing against anyone, and it just is for the good of all students,” she said.

Another protester, Coventry student Tyler, agreed.

“Most of the time, yes, I do feel safe. However… we’ve had some incidents in school where it’s gotten a little hairy, and I feel like there are things we can certainly put in place that can put us students at ease more,” he said.