Morgan County 8th graders plan assembly instead of school walkout

While some students across the nation plan to have a school walkout for tougher gun laws, three eighth graders at Versailles Middle School planned an assembly instead. (Elizabeth Hoffman/KRCG 13)

Wednesday marks one month since 17 students and faculty members were gunned down at a Florida high school. Some students and teachers across the nation plan to walk out of their schools and universities to honor the lives lost, hoping the movement will push lawmakers to pass tougher gun laws.

At Morgan County R-II School District in Versailles, students recognized the national school walkout ahead of time, but they did it in their own way.

They may only be in eighth grade, but Gabe, Libby and Kylee, have made a difference for students in their school district.

"I don't think that walking out is going to solve any problems," Kylee Grandchamp said.

Instead, the three students organized an assembly for the middle and high schools. At the assembly, 17 balloons were released in honor of the lives lost in the Parkland, Florida shooting.

"I hope it impacts people," organizer Gabe Brandon said. "And that they go on to tell people like to be nice to other people so it impacts other lives so nothing like that ever happens again."

Superintendent Dr. Joyce Ryerson said she couldn't be more proud, "The kids have taken ownership and have said we want to know more about these things."

And as the three eighth graders look forward to high school, they've already learned a lesson for life.

"I think if we want to do something about the shooting we should not take it in a negative way," Grandchamp said. "We should make it a more positive thing like we did with letting the balloons go."

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