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Meet One Of The Student Organizers Behind 'March For Our Lives' In North Texas

Courtesy photo
Sophie Conde is a junior at Centennial High School in Frisco.

Students across the country will be protesting gun violence as part of "March For Our Lives" Saturday. Sophie Conde, a junior at Centennial High in Frisco, is helping lead the march in downtown Dallas. 

In our Friday Conversation, she told KERA's Rick Holter that student organizers plan to keep the momentum going after the march ends.

"Heading into May 5 when the National NRA convention's held in Dallas, we're going to draw the line in the sand," she said.  

Interview Highlights: Sophie Conde

On what spurred her to protest gun violence in schools:

"In my school, in the week after the Parkland shooting, we actually experienced a school shooting threat and I got to witness what it does — just the threat of it — in a school setting. It was terrifying.

"I feel safe [in my school] to some extent, but we had a student who was arrested for having cocaine and heroin, and if they can get drugs in that easily, I'm sure they can get a weapon in just as easily. We may have rules against having a backpack in my school, but that doesn't stop anybody."

On trying to change gun laws in a conservative state:

"I grew up in a family with a mom who was a trauma ICU nurse, so any time I was asked to ge hang out somewhere, she would call their parents and ask if they had guns in the house. That was just something I grew up with, thinking, 'It's not OK. We're not going to be in a house with guns.' Going through public schools in Frisco, obviously, there's a lot of people who are very pro-gun and say, 'The guns are not the issue; it's all mental health.' I combat that by saying, 'This is not a partisan issue, this is a school safety issue, this is for all of our lives. Not for guns and not just for mental health.'"  

On whether she would feel safer if her teachers were armed:

"I've heard my teachers talk about this issue a lot and I have not heard a single teacher say they want to be armed. I think that if they're wanting to pursue giving more teachers training in guns, it needs to be extremely regulated...but I definitely still do not support arming all the teachers....because I have teachers who can pop off and if they have a gun, I don't know if I'd feel safe with that." 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.