High school students in communities across the country are taking the lead and raising their voices about causes dear to their generation: gun control, the environment, climate change and gender equality. Here are a few students from Leelanau County’s four public schools who are stepping forward as activist and civic leaders.

This morning at 10 a.m., students from several Leelanau County high schools joined a nationwide school walkout on the one-month anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

After my great-great-grandfather returned from the Civil War, laws regarding firearms were passed by many different units of government. Laws in Michigan prohibited the firing of guns in towns. Traverse City Police Chief Blacken had lots of firearms turned in to his office in 1926. Blacken dumped the guns in Grand Traverse Bay, ensuring the public’s safety from dangerous misfires.

Michigan Senate Bill 59 may go down as the most ill-timed pieces of legislation to come out of Lansing in decades. On Thursday, Dec. 13, the state’s Republican-dominated Senate and House passed a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons in schools —regardless of a school’s prerogative.