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Students Met with Opposition in Planning 'March for our Lives'

March 20, 2018 - 9:36 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - One of the students behind a 'March for our Lives' rally says there is no political money behind their group and no union teachers have pushed for them to march.  O’Fallon Illinois high school senior Claire Wilcox says no politicians or think tanks have approached them to take a position.

“Usually the only people in the meetings are my mom and a friend’s mom who is a lawyer. They’re just there to tell us if what we’re doing is legal,” she says.

Since the mass shooting at a high school in Florida, many have complained that money is behind these student marches and adults with an agenda are pushing them.

Wilcox says that is completely untrue.

“This has not only been started by students but has been completely led by students. We’ve been very careful because we don’t want people to perceive it as such,” she says.

She says a parent had asked someone from the Obama administration to come but she says the student organizers did not make that request.  

The only adult speaker so far is a parent of one of five students killed on the Northern Illinois campus ten years ago.


The group has applied for a $5000 grant from the group Everytown for gun safety. The group formed the after Sandy Hook school shootings, but they don't know if they've been approved.

“The main expense would be hiring and paying the police officers that will be acting as security for our march,” Wilcox says.

The money would also go to insurance, a sound system and a large banner for marchers to carry. 


It hasn't been smooth sailing. Wilcox and a handful of students had wanted to hold the rally at their school, but a meeting with the superintendent and principal of O’Fallon Township High School left her wondering if they'd be able to. 

Her first clue, she didn't know the police chief and a deputy would also be in that meeting.

 “I went into the room and the first thing they said was ‘Can you get your dad on the phone’ and it was a very intense meeting. They very forwardly asserted that we would not be able to start or end at the school, that the school wanted nothing to do with it,” she says.


Wilcox says they conservatively expect 400 people to show up. The march and rally will start at O’Fallon city hall at 8:30 Saturday, head toward the high school and then return to city hall for the rally.