February 22, 2018

Student Voice Team Announces Student-Led Response to School Shootings

On March 20th, the Student Voice Team will host a March for Our Lives KY Student Teach-In at the Kentucky State Capitol to highlight the issue of student safety and school climate in the context of recent school shootings and threats in Kentucky and across the country. The day of action is part of the larger March for Our Lives rallies organized by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The Student Voice Team will lead a Teach-In to support participants to have informed opinions about school safety and climate and activation strategies in the afternoon. Youth and adult organizers of local rallies are encouraged to attend. After the Teach-In, the Student Voice Team will host a rally on the steps of the Capitol to call on policymakers to take action to reduce violence in Kentucky schools.

“The tragedies in Marshall County and Parkland have awakened us to the fact that when it comes to school safety, the status quo is unacceptable, and we have to be the change we want to see,” said Student Voice Team member and high school senior, Amanda Byerman. “We are constituents too. And just because many of us are too young to vote doesn’t mean we students can’t have a voice in the political process.”

The Teach-In seeks to empower students, teachers, parents, and the community to organize around the issue of ensuring student safety and a positive school climate. Students will lead the trainings and provide strategies for organizing mass events, understanding school culture and violence, meeting with legislators, generating social media support, and amplifying student stories so policymakers can hear them.

“The reality and prospect of school shootings have been devastating for our schools and country as a whole,” said Prichard Committee Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey. “But the way students are organizing themselves, underscoring the urgency of this issue, and driving a new conversation about how to ensure school safety and a school climate conducive to learning at the highest level gives us reason for hope. This cannot be a partisan issue. Our students deserve our support, and they deserve much better.”

In addition to the Student Teach-In and rally, the Student Voice Team will launch a coalition of local March for Our Lives rallies and other interested groups to coordinate the local rallies and statewide action. 

The March for Our Lives KY Day of Action will be held at the state capitol in Frankfort on Tuesday, March 20th. The Teach-In will take place in Capitol Annex room 131 from 1:30 to 4:00 P.M. EDT. The Rally will take place immediately after at 5:00 P.M. EDT on the steps of the Capitol. Events are open to the public, with a special emphasis on student leaders.

The Student Voice Team was founded in 2012 at the Prichard Committee, a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization working to improve education in Kentucky for all ages. 

Since 2021 they have been the Kentucky Student Voice Team, an independent, statewide organization organization of young people who are co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools & communities as research, policy & advocacy partners.