MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- "Hey, hey, ho, ho. The NRA has got to go!"

That was the chant heard throughout Middletown as protectors participated in the 'March For Our Lives' national movement.

"We don't want another shooting in our school," said event organizer and Middletown High student Salma Znaidi. "We don't want another shooting in our community. To enforce that we need change."

Local students and community members walked from SUNY Orange to a skate park, where they held a rally to raise awareness and engage their fellow citizens. 

"It's not just one event, it's a multitude of events, and a constant pressure towards our politicians to get things done," said organizer and Middletown High student Logan Gonzalez.


Student organizers worked with teachers and city leaders to put today's event together. 

[[sot]] ((Nicole Chaluisan, Middletown High School Teacher))

They had a plan and they took our words, they used them but they came up with their own plan, said Middletown High teacher Nicole Chalusian. "And, as adults we have a lot of ideas, too, we have a lot of experience. But the most important thing we have to do is to listen to them." 


Those messages hit home with Corey White, a parent who came out to support.

Every year it's been happening..mass shootings, said White, who lost his son last year to gun violence. "So when is it going to get to Middletown. You know, we're just trying to not let it happen in our community." 

White says that he encountered counterprotestors during the event. 

A girl came to me and she said, 'Oh that's my dad I'm marching with my dad.' And I said, 'at least you get to march with your dad. I'm marching with my son right here on my finger. My son is dead'."

White says he hopes that the counterprotestors at the event understand the community's motivation for marching. 

"Think about other people, White said. "Think about compassion and empathy for somebody else. Think about that before you make a decision. When you make a decision don't think about just money. That's what it's about money." 

Rodriguez said he understood why people counterprotested, and believed they had a right to their voice too. 

"That's one of the reason why our country is so great is because people can have differences of opinions, said Rodriguez. "And, what I hope the counterprotestors got from us today is that we're not here to say ban guns, we're here today to convey a message that is righteous."