Hawaii students echo nationwide call to 'make schools safe again'

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Carrying signs that read "Enough is enough!" and "Books not bullets," hundreds of students, families and supporters braved rainy weather Saturday for "March for Our Lives" rallies across the state.

There were three rallies on Oahu, two in the urban core and one in Kailua.

Demonstrators gathered in large crowds at the state Capitol and Ala Moana Beach Park, toting signs and chanting.

"Our voices are never really heard and we really don't the opportunity to speak at local events," said Punahou student Imiloa Borland. "They're mostly adult driven."

She and Hayden Hawkins, a student at the University Lab School, organized the march at Ala Moana Beach Park. Some 200 people showed up.

"It was us reaching out to our friends that were at other schools, making a social media account and just telling people, 'Come out. Come support. Come speak," Borland said.

Several other march events took place on Neighbor Islands, and over a dozen Hawaii teens also walked in the "March for Our Lives" in the nation's capital.

The rally in DC drew hundreds of thousands of students, families and supporters. Schatz joined the group for the march on Pennsylvania Avenue at 6 a.m. Hawaii time.

Sacred Hearts student Taylor McKenzie helped to organize the larger rally at the state Capitol.

At 10 a.m. Oahu residents came out in droves — despite the rain — and marched from the State Capitol building to the state Education Department building.

Thousands of students and adults were there, dressed in ponchos and rain boots and carrying signs.

"I think this march really focuses on political change," McKenzie said. "We want to get the attention of our legislators, really the country. Not only are we in support — we want change."

McKenzie added Hawaii rally organizers went to coffee shops, stores and schools to put posters up advertising the event.

"I grew up learning about Columbine, seeing the horror of Sandy Hook," McKenzie said. "This is something that we're tired of. We're pissed! It's about time that students come together."

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