Students organize city-wide gun violence rally; two local teens organize St. Petersburg High walkout

But wait, there's more: They're also going to register to vote that day.

click to enlarge #EnoughIsEnough - U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Caleb Pierce

This Friday, April 20, St. Pete High teens will do two things that might make a difference: They're staging a walkout to protest gun violence, and they're going to register to vote.

If you're a fan of the NRA, you may find that last part upsetting, because odds are these teens aren't registering to vote during this rally because they interpret the second amendment the same way you do. 

According to a press release, the protest will focus on "sensible gun safety reform laws" and the teens are timing it to coincide with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, for which most — if not all — of these teens weren't alive. 

Nicole Leary and Taylor Redington have organized the protest, which will start at 10:32 a.m. in front of the high school, where 31 pairs of shoes will represent teens murdered by gun violence in 2018. The protestors will demand gun reform. At 11 a.m., they will walk to St. Pete City Hall to join a St. Pete-wide rally of high school students. 

Although this is not a city-sanctioned event, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman told Creative Loafing Tampa he "applauds the students who are taking a stand" and "appreciates that they are incorporating voter registration into their event."

Because, yeah, these teens aren't content with getting angry and posting ranty things on social media, apparently — they're going to have voter registration at St. Petersburg High and also make it clear to people they can register at the Supervisor of Elections near City Hall. People can register to vote at age 16, so long as they have a Florida driver's license of the last four digits of their social security number. 

Kai Tomalin, son of Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and outdoor writer Terry Tomalin, who died two years ago, has organized the St. Petersburg Walkout Rally and Voter Registration Drive, calling to mind the statement so beloved by his friends and family: "Terry would go." 

If you do make the rally — and adults are welcome to attend — there's free pizza, donated by local groups, but if you want some, you have to register for the rally here. Here's the Facebook event for the St. Pete High walkout

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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