Students to participate in national walk out

Jessica Vandermaas, Staff Writer

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   After news of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, the nation’s students have begun to stand together to fight for stricter gun control laws. Students walked out of their school the Friday after the shooting and followed by rallying on Saturday, due to the fact this has been the 18th school shooting this year alone.

  Senior, Rachel Barber shared that the shootings are getting too common and happening to often.

  “As sad as it was, I wasn’t really surprised [when I heard the news], because this has been going on for so long. It really needs to stop,” she shared.

 Another protest is planned for the one month anniversary of the massacre, Mar. 14. The event has been organized by the Women’s March organizers to protest inaction from lawmakers on gun-control legislation. On the 14th, students and teachers are being called to walk out of their schools at 10:00 am local time for 17 minutes, to honor the 17 lives lost as a result of the South Florida shooting.

  Another protest marked in calendars is on April. 20, which would mark the 19th year since the Columbine High School massacre which left 13 dead. More than 22,000 people have signed petitions pledging to walk out of their classrooms at 10 a.m for the rest of the day.

  Cassidy Holton, ‘18 feels that if guns designed for murder, not hunting guns but weapons such as AR15’s, were against the law, she’d be safer at school. Holton added that she and her classmate, Emily Litz, ‘19 were just that day speaking of the fear they feel in school with the lack of safety laws.

  She stated,  “I think if everyone, all kids, participate and fight against guns being sold, it’s more likely we’ll get what we want so we don’t have to be afraid of whether we’ll survive the school day or not.”

  However, with the opportunity to leave school, district authorities are concerned about those who would take an advantage of the walk outs, without protesting.

  “I think a protest is smart, but unfortunately, I think a lot of students will be walking out just to ditch school,” Baber shared.

  In a Minnesota High School, a group of volunteer students had planned on participating in the past nationwide school walkout. Though after concerns of potential punishment from school officials, the students refrained from walking. It was rumoured that the principal was requesting from teachers the names of students who walked out and turnover the names.

  However, Holton shared that the unanimous involvement of student bodies is what is going to make schools ultimately feel safer.

  She concluded, “I think we should still fight no matter what the risk is. We’re the only voice.”

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