CHICAGO (CBS) — On the eve of a national walkout honoring those killed 20 years ago at Columbine High School, a girl who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was visiting with students in South Holland.
She’s a school shooting survivor and Black Lives Matter activist from Parkland, Florida, and she was at Thornwood High School on Thursday to highlight the problem of violent crime in minority communities, while discussing the need for gun control.
Mei-Ling Ho-Shing arrived in South Holland around 10:30 a.m., wearing her Stoneman Douglas High School shirt.
Ho-Shing is part a group of Stoneman Douglas students who feel their voices, at times, have been left out of the debate in the wake of the massacre at their school.
About 11 percent of the students that attend Stoneman Douglas are black.
Ho-Shing said it’s important to make sure minority voices are heard during the national push for gun reform that has been led by many of her classmates.
“I just want to inspire others. I understand a lot of African Americans don’t have that connection with the #NeverAgain movement, because they don’t see people that look like them, and there’s 40 percent of minorities that go to Stoneman Douglas, but you don’t really see that at the forefront of this movement,” she said.
On Thursday, Ho-Shing was taking part in a student-led day-in-the-life tour at Thornwood. The tour will be followed by a discussion about the problem of gun violence and possible solutions.
“It’s actually really motivational to think that someone who’s been through so much is able to take what they’ve been through and apply that to other schools,” Thornwood senior Nicolette Sales said. “It’s something really special; not only because she chose our school, but just to be a part of it, and to be able to say she didn’t let the situation defeat her. That’s something that’s really honorable.”
Friday’s national walk out is set to begin at 9:50 a.m. Ho-Shing will be speaking to the Illinois Education Association at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.