Florida education advocate praises March for Our Lives: Students need to speak ‘truth to power’

An official at the Florida Education Association (FEA) on Wednesday praised the anti-gun violence organization March for Our Lives, saying students need to continue to “speak truth to power.”

“We hope that it continues this year because students need to take control of their own destinies,” Fedrick Ingram, who is Vice President of FEA, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton during an interview on Wednesday.

Ingram added that “it does all of our hearts good to see kids speaking truth to power.”

The March for Our Lives protest, which was started by survivors of the deadly Parkland, Fla. school shooting, drew hundreds of thousands of protestors in cities across the country last year. Together, students and activists called for swift action on gun control. It marked one of the biggest youth protests in U.S. history.

Since then, the Parkland survivors have emerged as some of the most vocal advocates for tightening gun restrictions.

Ingram called the student-led movement “awe-inspiring.”

“Last year was just awe-inspiring to see those kids go from Parkland to Washington, D.C. back here to the state capitol in Tallahassee,” he told Hill.TV.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead and 14 others injured. The tragedy continues to spur calls for gun reform.

Fedrick acknowledge that, while some progress has been made over the past year, Florida lawmakers could do a better job of listening to students, teachers and parents when coming up with ways to make schools safer. He said the commissions that have been formed by the state government to address the issue have not been very inclusive of communities as a whole. 

“What we’re asking is lawmakers create a system where we can actually have a voice at the table because the commissions that have been formed by our government have not included teachers’ voices,” he said.

The state's Senate Education Committee, meanwhile, on Tuesday advanced a bill that would expand the existing “Guardian” program and add teachers to a list of participates allowed to carry guns on school campuses. 

Fedrick denounced the proposal, saying it would put an "unintended liability" on teachers.

 —Tess Bonn