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BOSTON (CBSBoston) — School is now in session across South Florida and much of the nation as well, but there’s one group of students hoping their back-to-school fashion show sends a powerful message, that’s less about trends and more about the safety of students.
Manuel Oliver, whose 17-year-old son Joaquin was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland now travels the country to make sure his son didn’t die in vain.
“My son is a victim that has a statement,” said Oliver, with a message for lawmakers. “It was my kid in February, but it could be their kid today or tomorrow.”
Parent Armando Martinez said “it could happen to anyone, anywhere, any school, any age, you know.”
Oliver and his organization, Change The Ref, were in Boston on Monday for a provocative back-to-school fashion show. The group aims “to raise awareness about mass shootings through strategic interventions that will reduce the influence of the NRA on the federal level,” according to its website.
Fashion models were dressed in bullet-proof vests and armor and gas masks. Several people including young children wore T-shirts that read “Just (expletive) vote.”
“Today I’m going to be very graphic, showing how this system is asking us to dress our kids before going to school or even a restaurant or whatever,” Oliver said.
Over the weekend, the Olivers’ and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg marched with local gun control activists 50 miles to the headquarters of gun maker Smith & Wesson in Springfield.
“I’m 50 years old, I’m not going to college, I’m not stopping doing this, until the day that I die,” he said.