March For Our Lives activists on shortlist for TIME's 2018 Person of the Year

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 10, 2018

The March For Our Lives movement has been named a finalist for TIME's 2018 Person of the Year.

“We always feel that any accolades that come along is in the expense of the kids, of the event that happened essentially. We always preface everything by saying it's a nice thing but we wish nobody knew who us are," said Jeff Foster, an AP Government teacher at Stoneman Douglas High School. "It's an amazing honor."

The magazine announced its shortlist of candidates Monday morning on NBC's Today show.

“It’s awe inspiring to see this group of kids ascend to where they’ve been in such a short period of time and really do it mostly on their own," Foster said.

Among the 10 finalists is March For Our Lives, which was spearheaded by a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students following the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland.

"Their ability to gain attention from the media, from the politicians, then allowed the parents, our group, the come in and push to get the laws changed," said Tony Montalto, whose daughter, Gina, died in the shooting.

The March For Our Lives movement has called for sweeping changes to America's gun control laws, and inspired marches and rallies around the country over the last several months, include a massive demonstration in Washington, D.C. in March.

March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on Mar. 24
March For Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. on Mar. 24

"It’s a great bit of teamwork and that’s what we need. People working together for the goal of school safety," said Montalto, who's part of Stand With Parkland and the National Association of Families for Safe Schools.

Those groups, along with March For Our Lives, are continuing to push for legislation to secure campuses, increase mental health screenings, institute universal background checks, and promote responsible gun ownership.

Montalto marched in Parkland for March For Our Lives in honor of his daughter, Gina.

March For Our Lives rally in Parkland, Fla. in March

"These things are taking place all over our country, so we want to encourage the people that are doing a good job and are moving in a positive direction, and we want to get everyone else on board with that so we can continue the momentum," said Montalto.

The complete shortlist for TIME's 2018 Person of the Year is:

  • President Donald Trump
  • Separated Families at the U.S./Mexico border
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • Robert Mueller, special counsel in the Russia Probe
  • Ryan Coogler, Director of the hit film "Black Panther"
  • Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault
  • Jamal Khashoggi
  • March For Our Lives activists
  • South Korean President Moon Jae-in
  • Meghan Markle

Since 1927, TIME has recognized a person or group who has most influenced the news and world over the past year.

TIME's 2018 Person of the Year will be announced Tuesday morning during the 7 a.m. hour of NBC's Today show.