It can be difficult to know how to address gun violence with children, but for 7-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards, even at a young age her stance was clear. On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, the first grader walked out of her school — alone. Her mother, Bethany Edwards, told CNN that Havana's school in Virginia did not make plans for an organized walkout, so Edwards took her out of school. Once she had walked out, Havana observed 13 seconds of silence, one for every individual killed in the Columbine shooting.
Sadly, Havana's family has felt the effects of gun violence firsthand. Her father's nephew, Tony, was a victim of a shooting. Havana said she chose to wear an orange astronaut suit to honor such victims, especially the students of Parkland, Sandy Hook, and Columbine.
Havana's father, Anthony Champan, spoke to CTV News and said: "There is not an early enough age that you can expose your children to the realities of the world."
He and Edwards practice what they preach by supporting Havana as she raises her voice, accompanying her to rallies, such as the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C.
"As a 7-year-old, she's going to live a long time, and I think it's important for people to understand that we just can't sit on the sidelines," he said.
My future is bright. I am the future an I am standing and using my voice right now fighting for it. @astrostarbright @maejemison @ava #marchforourlives #blacklivesmatter #MarchForOurLives sign #enoughisenough #beawarrior pic.twitter.com/xUZitSDjeO— Havana Chapman-Edwards (@TheTinyDiplomat) March 24, 2018