Gaston County student takes solo stand on gun control

Gaston County student takes solo stand on gun control
(Alex Giles/WBTV)

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A student at Forestview High School in Gastonia says she was the only one of her classmates to walk out of class Friday in support of a national walkout movement.

High school students across the country walked out of classrooms to honor victims of school shootings and call for legislative change that would prevent further violence from happening at educational facilities.

Friday also marked the anniversary of the deadly school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Forestview junior Morgan Smith said she decided to walk out of school despite the fact that none of her classmates were doing the same.

"I wanted to be different and think about everybody else that's doing it and why we should do it and why it's important for us to make a say and we need better gun control," said Smith.

The high school junior said she had told her mother she would be walking out when the time came. She kept her word, leaving in the middle of her math class at 10 a.m.

"I stood up and I put my book-bag on and I just walked out the door and my friend was at the door and she gave me a high-five while I walked out," said Smith.

She said no one tried to stop her as she left the building. She even recorded a brief video of her feet walking off the campus.

Like the rest of the country, Smith took notice when a gunman took the lives of several people during a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"It just made me think that it can happen to anyone. It's not just certain people. It can happen to anyone anywhere," said Smith.

The Gastonia teen said she has been inspired by her grandmother, Jennifer Davis. Smith said that Davis had taken a stand when she was met with racial oppression at a younger age.

"She's very inspiring and she's very supportive of all my decisions and I love her a lot," said the teen.

The rest of Smith's family was also supportive of her decision to walk out of school.

"I'm the proud that the kids are out there doing it," said Smith's grandfather, Fred Davis Jr. "The kids can bring more attention to it than the adults can."

The next time Smith decides to take a stand for something, she may not be alone. She said she will try to get more students involved if she walks out of class again.

"It will bring more attention to it. The more, the better."

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