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Central HS students take stand on school violence, walking out in silent protest



Among the school protests staged on Wednesday, a month after the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, was the one at La Crosse’s Central High School.

Later in the day, Willow Tolle talked on WIZM . The Central senior, who organized the 17-minute protest, was asked what message she hoped lawmakers got from the national walkout.

“I want them to make it more difficult for somebody who, maybe doesn’t fit the criteria to have a gun, to get one,” Tolle said. “Whether that be background checks and things like that. Maybe checking to see if they any history or domestic abuse or need specific help, like mental health problems.”

Tolle, who estimated more than 200 joined in on yesterday’s protest at Central, would like to see the memory of Parkland continue until things get done, instead of waiting for the next.

“Even just changing up the mental health care system a little bit,” she said. “Because the only time we ever want to talk about mental health in America is when a shooting happens.

“I think we have to be proactive about it, rather than just wait for whatever disaster to happen and then move on like nothing ever did.”

Tolle estimates about 200 joined her in Wednesday’s protest. She thought she might have 50.

“I just saw people keep coming and coming and coming,” Tolle said. “My heart just swelled up. I was so overjoyed in the fact that these students were coming together with me to try and make a difference.”

The walkout was organized for 17 minutes to memorialize the 17 students and staff that were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

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