Students Join National Walk Out

Students+protest+against+acts+of+violence+in+schools+at+the+RJ+Wasson+Academic+Campus.
Students protest against acts of violence in schools at the RJ Wasson Academic Campus.

Students protest against acts of violence in schools at the RJ Wasson Academic Campus.

Spencer Amrie

Spencer Amrie

Students protest against acts of violence in schools at the RJ Wasson Academic Campus.

Spencer Amrie, Staff Writer

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At the Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus on March 14, 2018, an estimated  200 students walked out of class today to protest gun violence in US high schools.   The purpose was to raise awareness among students and support the students of the Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  There has been mass shootings and Congress has done nothing to stop the carnage.  “We wanted to show the people who will be voting that this is a major issue that affects high school youth.  It is important that Congress begin to do something about it,”  stated River Atkinson.  Students in Florida were able to influence the Florida State Legislature to pass legislation to strengthen background checks and raise the legal age to purchase a firearms to 21.

Alexis Schilowsky
Students show up with signs to protest.

Organizing students had signs with slogans:  “Raise Grades, Not Guns.”, “No More Silence and Gun Violence.”, “Love Life not Guns.”  Although the signs had different expressions, there was a unity during the protest.   For students in Colorado, Columbine is remembered by high school students each time one of these incidents occurs.   Students are tired of the victims of murder in school.  Florida has become a unique symbol for standing up and trying to make a change that matters.  

District 11 was concerned for student safety during the protest.  School Resource Officers (SRO) and Security were attentive during the respectful protest to ensure student safety.  Only a few teachers were present, as this was students-organized walk out.  A Social Worker, Bill Dowdle from The Bijou School, was  outside during the protest.  Dowdle stated, “I wanted to lend my support any way I could for these students.  I think it’s important that students organized this, it’s pretty amazing how change happens.”  

There were some students present who were not aware of the purpose of the walk-out, but took advantage of it to escape class for 17 minutes.  These students began a chant,  “Smoke the weed, not the students.”  This disappointed Atkinson, as it changed focus from an important issue for all high school students and took attention away from the informed students on the issue.  Students were out there to support the students of Florida, not to pull attention to Colorado’s controversy with marijuana.

Alexis Schilowsky
Hopefully messages were displayed during the protest.

Even though there were different slogans, banners, and purposes, students were agreed that what happened in Florida was an awful tragedy that should never be repeated.  Logan Haith, co-organizer of the event, states, “Students should feel safe in schools, not threatened.”

 

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