Monday, 22 October, 2018

Student Walkout is America's Lesson of a Lifetime

Student Walkouts Planned Across US to Protest Gun Violence New York area students join nationwide walkout to protest gun violence
Orlando Vargas | 19 March, 2018, 14:44

Walkouts occurred in Gillette, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Rawlins, Cody, Riverton, Lander and Jackson.

The song was written by 16 year-old Sawyer Garrity and 15 year-old Andrea Peña, two students who survived the Stoneman Douglas shooting. Some even marched to the courthouse carrying signs.

In recent weeks, civil rights advocates and racial justice activists have noted that rather than inspiring reform legislation or prompting national outcry, gun violence in black communities is often framed as an issue of self-control and black activists framed as criminals for their protests.

Ava Olson, a freshman at Cheyenne's East High, attended the demonstration there wearing an orange shirt, on which she'd written "Me next".

Standing before a crowd of students numbering between 800 and 1,000 at the entrance to Falcon Field, he said, "No students or teachers should have to go to school and to their jobs always having that thought in the back of their mind, 'Are we going to get shot today?".

Across town at South High junior sophomore Eric Vigil, used a table as a dais to speak to the students. School, he said, isn't the place for politics, and he wasn't taking sides. "With our current circumstances, it could be us or any other school within Cheyenne, Wyoming, or any other school within the country". "We were all scared that everyone was being killed, because people were throwing desks to barricade and it sounded like gunshots", North Bend student Olivia Funk said.

President Donald Trump initially responded by claiming he supported raising the minimum purchasing age to 21 for all guns, but a March 11 White House proposal on gun policies retreated from the age change and instead pressed for arming teachers as a deterrent to school shootings.

At the end of the observance, students returned to school, including the one with the sign. And let's be honest, it is far more hard to walk up to someone with whom we may not have a prior relationship, and engage with them, than it is to decide to leave class for 17 minutes.

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Maine's national and state legislators were among those expressing support for the students on social media. The same was true for students at Valparaiso High School in northern Indiana. Along with Vigil's speech, students read out the names of those who died in Florida last month and observed a 17-second moment of silence.

It takes moral courage to walk out or protest. "I think their message was consistent, that they wanted to support the victims of Parkland".

With some students dressed in orange, the colour adopted by the gun control movement, the walkouts began at 10am local time in each time zone and were scheduled to last 17 minutes. They placed 17 empty desks in a circle, each with an orange carnation resting on top.

Several students made and held signs during the event. Most importantly, students were encouraged to take the lead.

As the Lakeshore High School students held their walkout, numerous drivers in vehicles passing by gave friendly honks and waves to the students. At many campuses across Nashville, the district help students organize speakers and other special events for the walk-out. By this point, they're a badge of honour for us; they represent how passionate we are about the issue.

150 students at Park Hill High School in Kansas were told that they had the choice between an administrative conference or detention for attention the walkout.

Ninth-grade student Cassandra Morley was among those who participated. "It could have happened here".

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