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Sheyenne student joins thousands during March for Our Lives in D.C.

The March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., followed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Submitted photo by Paige Dewar1 / 5
People rally for the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., in protest of gun violence. Submitted photo by Paige Dewar2 / 5
West Fargo Sheyenne student Paige Dewar attended the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., in protest of gun violence. Submitted photo by Paige Dewar3 / 5
People made signs for the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C., in protest of gun violence. Submitted photo by Paige Dewar4 / 5
The March for Our Lives event took place Sunday, March 25, in Washington, D.C., in protest of gun violence. Submitted photo by Paige Dewar5 / 5

After following the news of school shootings and a recent bomb threat at Sheyenne High School, junior Paige Dewar decided to take her stance to a national level.

Dewar wants change to gun regulations. She wants safer schools.

Dewar was one of thousands of protesters who marched the streets of Washington, D.C., on March 24 as part of the "March for Our Lives" movement. The protest was spurred by the Parkland Fla. school shooting, in which 17 people were shot and killed.

"It was very overwhelming," Dewar said. "It was very emotional. It was just a good experience to go through, that's for sure."

Dewar found out about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting via social media on Feb. 14. She saw videos and photos posted from the incident in which 17 people were shot and killed. Then, in March, Dewar a bomb threat was written on a school bathroom wall at Sheyenne High School, which led to heightened security.

She thought it was a "kid being stupid and making a joke," but it wasn't a laughing matter.

"I couldn't imagine going through that myself," Dewar said. "It's hard to even imagine what we would have to do in that situation. Once you get in that situation, you freeze up and don't know what to do."

While the march and issues have been politicized, it's not just politics for Dewar. She said her mom is leans-left and her dad leans right, so she falls somewhere in the middle. She wants tighter restrictions on gun shows and stronger background checks to get guns. But she also doesn't want to take guns away from responsible gun owners or disregard the second amendment "all willy-nilly."

"But this woke me up, and I realized we need change and we need it now or this could get out of hand," Dewar said.

Dewar said her school is split on the issue of guns. She said she's heard some who want to get rid of all guns and some who think that would take away guns from "the good guys."

Dewar took part in the National School Walkout at Sheyenne High School on March 14. She said she and other students worried they would get in trouble with the school or even get detention if they walked out so not much of an event was organized. But she said school officials allowed it but didn't support it. She was surprised when about 150-200 students walked out, even though there weren't any signs or much organization.

"I knew I was going to do it 100 percent. There was a little skepticism where I was going to get in trouble for it," Dewar said. "I knew I was going to the march anyway. I knew I would stand up for this cause either way."

Dewar said she went to the March for Our Lives where "it was nice to stand up with people who believe in the same things." She wasn't surprised so many people from different places showed up because of the passion around the issue.

Kids her age, Dewar said, want to make a difference. She said she just wants to be safe at school.

"I think it won't (go away). We're the new generation, and we're going to carry it on," Dewar said. "In a few years, we're going to be able to vote, and that's going to bring impact on our country and how gun laws are going to be controlled."

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

(701) 451-5715