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Student-led March for Our Lives set for Saturday

After the Parkland High School shootings, Ashleigh Jackson started seeing talk about school safety locally on social media sites.
“I saw a family who really wanted to protest as a family and they have some elementary age kids,” she said. “A lot of people were saying some really rude things to them. I told them if you guys are serious I will start this up.”
That’s now Jackson took on the leadership role in Saturday’s March for our Lives in Hendersonville.
Students, parents and others plan to gather at 11 a.m. outside the Hendersonville High School auditorium and march on Main Street to the Historic Courthouse. After that, there will be a congregation at Sanctuary Brewery “for anyone and everyone who wants to express their opinions,” organizers said in a Facebook posting.
“I just think there were a lot of students and people in the community who wanted to stand up in Hendersonville,” said Jackson. “I met a group of students in Hendersonville who were eager to march but a lot of them didn’t want the responsibility of leading it. I think it’s important. I have worked hard to keep it about school safety vs. making it about the gun divide.”
She said people have asked her what they should write on their signs.
“I’ve just given them the freedom to put whatever they want on their signs,” she said. “When I have talked about it, I’ve made it about school safety.”
A Facebook site and a March for Our Lives website indicate around 120 people have said they plan to march.
“But I have also seen people who say they someone who hasn’t signed up that I know are coming,” she said.
A 2015 graduate of East Henderson High School, Jackson, 20, works fulltime as a preschool teacher and attends Blue Ridge Community College. She marched in the Philadelphia women’s march and has participated in other protests.
“We just want all community members to feel welcome and feel free to say whatever they want to say,” she said.