Stoneman Douglas students hold rally in Parkland ahead of DC march

PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School held a rally in Parkland, Tuesday, days before the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

“We’re not gonna back down, and we’re not gonna stop, and this is just the beginning,” said rally organizer Demitri Hoth.

Hundreds of high school students plan to make the trip to the nation’s capital, Saturday, to continue their call for change.

“Seventeen lives that were lost at our school. Their lives are not going to be left in vain,” said Hoth. “We’re gonna do something, and we’re gonna change laws, even if it’s the last thing that we have to do.”

Hoth was one of the high school students who traveled to Tallahassee, where, he said, they were disappointed by the response from lawmakers.

“So we felt a little defeated,” said Hoth, “and I don’t want us going to Washington feeling that way. I don’t want people marching feeling that way.”

So he organized this rally.

“To motivate [people] and to let them know their actions and their voices are being heard across the nation,” said Hoth, “no matter if you’re marching in Washington, or if you’re marching in Parkland or Miami.”

“We will vote candidates in who truly, truly want to make America great again, again,” said Stoneman Douglas senior Angelina Lazo during the rally.

“I’m very, very, very proud of my students,” said Stoneman Douglas history teacher Greg Pittman. “Beginning of my class every year, I tell the students, ‘Hey, guys, you all are gonna be future voters, you’re gonna be future leaders.’ I did not know that they were gonna be required to step up now and do it as they’ve done it.”

Most of the students traveling to Washington, D.C. will be leaving on Thursday, and plan to meet with lawmakers there on Friday.

There will also be a number of marches across South Florida on Saturday.

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.