WSW: "It Could Have Been Kalamazoo Central" Or Any Other School

Mar 8, 2018

A sign of support is held up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Students returned to class for the first time since a former student opened fire there with an assault weapon.
Credit Terry Renna / The Associated Press

Kalamazoo Central High School senior Jenna Bowker says she and other students never felt their voices would be heard regarding guns, she says after a shooting at a high school in Florida, they decided to make sure they were heard.

Bowker is one of the students who drafted a petition which has over 200,000 signatures at It calls for comprehensive and responsible gun control legislation. Bowker says she and her fellow students discuss current events in their government class. She says the petition was inspired by because Parkland looked like their high school.

Bowker says the K-Central student are not trying to say get rid of all guns, or take guns away from responsible owners. She says they want stricter background checks, mandatory waiting periods, and possibly to raise the age limit for buying a gun.

After a rally at the state Capitol in February, Bowker and other students met with some state lawmakers. But she says most of them were “already on our side.” Bowker says they would like to discuss the issue with legislators who don’t share their views on guns. Bowker says a couple of the group’s members have met with Congressman Fred Upton, and would like to meet with him again. They were also scheduled to meet with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow.

In addition to getting students focused on the issue of guns, Bowker says they are also looking to get students registered to vote. Bowker is 18 and will be voting for the first time this year. She says gun policy will be among the top issues that determine who gets her vote.