PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- A shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people hit home for Suzanne Cohen, the president of the Portland Association of Teachers, because those halls used to be her home.
Cohen graduated in 1994 from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. She's been a teacher in the past and now serves as the PAT's President. Cohen told KOIN 6 News that she plans to use her organizing skills in the state and local politics to push for change and stricter gun control.
"The whole problem that we have is that we believe that we have to live in a world where kids need to hide in closets and be prepared for people to come into their building and shoot at them," Cohen said, "And I don't think that is a world we need to face and accept and just assume that nothing can be done about it."
That change, Cohen said, starts with the banning of assault rifles -- not by arming teachers in schools, like President Donald Trump has previously suggested.
"I don't want to see anymore mass school shootings and there is no other way to see that end without gun control, a ban on assault rifles, better background checks," Cohen said. "There are so many common sense practices that the majority of people are in favor of."
Cohen is promoting two marches regarding her beliefs. The first is on Wednesday, March 14, where people will stand outside for 17 minutes to honor those who were killed in the shooting. The second is on March 24 at the Portland version of March for our Lives, an event that will coincide with the one planned by high school students in Florida.
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