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Students express support through nationwide walkout

Thousands of students across the U.S. participate in walkout rallies to support school shooting victims

Hundreds+of+students+made+their+way+down+to+the+quad+for+17+minutes+on+March+14+at+10+a.m.+to+stand+in+solidarity+with+Parkland%2C+Fla.+Rosie+Asmar%2C+a+senior%2C+helps+to+lead+the+rally+by+singing+songs+and+holding+a+moment+of+silence+to+honor+the+17+students+who+were+killed.
Hundreds of students made their way down to the quad for 17 minutes on March 14 at 10 a.m. to stand in solidarity with Parkland, Fla. Rosie Asmar, a senior, helps to lead the rally by singing songs and holding a moment of silence to honor the 17 students who were killed.

Hundreds of students made their way down to the quad for 17 minutes on March 14 at 10 a.m. to stand in solidarity with Parkland, Fla. Rosie Asmar, a senior, helps to lead the rally by singing songs and holding a moment of silence to honor the 17 students who were killed.

Connor Lin

Connor Lin

Hundreds of students made their way down to the quad for 17 minutes on March 14 at 10 a.m. to stand in solidarity with Parkland, Fla. Rosie Asmar, a senior, helps to lead the rally by singing songs and holding a moment of silence to honor the 17 students who were killed.

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Enough.

Never again.

These slogans, along with many posters, social media posts, and heartfelt messages, were spread throughout the Carlmont community in the weeks preceding a nationwide school walkout, which took place on March 14 at 10 a.m.

Hundreds of Carlmont students joined the thousands of students participating in walkout rallies across the country. These walkout rallies took place exactly one month after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students lost their lives.

Students walked out of their classrooms at 9:55 a.m. and silently made their way down to the quad.

Elena Moore, a sophomore, decided to participate due to the impact she believed the event would have.

“I decided to walk out today because I knew that the bigger the crowd was, the bigger the voice we would have,” Moore said. “Like many, I feel that it is too easy to buy a gun and that the ways in which the government is trying to solve the issue of mass shootings is just not smart. Giving guns to fight guns is not the answer.”

However, other students believed that missing class to attend the walkout rally was not worth it.

“I personally believed that missing my math class for the walkout was not worth it because I would fall too far behind. I don’t think restricting laws will fix the issue of gun violence because many guns are obtained illegally anyway. Obviously, steps can be made to help the situation, as none of us should ever be OK with gun violence at schools, but protesting and walking out of class isn’t going to immediately solve the problem; it only provides awareness,” Meileen Jones, a senior, said.

 

Hundreds of students made their way down to the quad for 17 minutes on March 14 at 10 a.m. to stand in solidarity with Parkland, Fla. Rosie Asmar, a senior, helps to lead the rally by singing songs and holding a moment of silence to honor the 17 students who were killed.

In order to make it a reality, students passionate about gun control issues came together to organize this school-wide walkout.

Liz Boman, a senior, said, “ I went on the Sojourn to the Past trip in February, and that was a big motivator for me to work on this, as it was a very empowering trip and showed me the value and power of student voices. I also have always had strong opinions regarding gun control and really feel like our country needs to change these policies. We made flyers and some posters that were put up around the school to spread the word of the walkout, as well as posting on social media, putting it in the school announcements, and making an announcement at the beginning of first period before the walkout.”

Other participants in the annual Sojourn to the Past trip were also motivated to organize this event and to spread awareness of increasing gun control.

History teacher Karen Ramroth is one of the advisers for the Sojourn to the Past trip.

“We left for Sojourn two days after the Parkland shooting,” Ramroth said. “It was obviously on the minds of most of us as we talked about historic examples of activism from young people, like the sit-in movement, Freedom Rides, integration of Central High School, and the Children’s Campaign in Birmingham. Students were excited and motivated to use their activist skills to do something about gun violence.”

To begin the rally, walkout organizers recited the names of the 17 students who were killed in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14, which was followed by a 17-second moment of silence to honor them.

The rally also included other symbolic and emotional activities, such as releasing one orange balloon each minute of the walkout for each victim, singing songs, and an open mic for any student who wished to express their opinions about gun violence.

“I am incredibly proud of the students who organized this event. It takes dedication, time, courage, and passion to take a stand for something you believe in. I am also proud of the students who walked out. They are showing the adults in our country that they have the interest, dedication, and courage to stand up for what is important to them and get involved,” Ramroth said.

Although the walkout occurred during first period, many teachers made accommodations in their teaching schedules to account for the event.

Ramroth said, “Since I teach government, it was very easy to tie this event into my curriculum. I told my students before the walkout that they didn’t necessarily need to agree with every single thing that was said today; however, it was a great chance for them to be a part of a historic moment and to see democracy in action, led by people their own age. I can’t imagine a better illustration of American democracy at work.”

Students who chose to walk out of their first period classes for 17 minutes were able to do so without facing severe consequences.

Principal Ralph Crame said, “Students who walked out for 17 minutes missed content in their classes if their teacher continued to teach, which they will need to make up. Students who were not present for the entire period were marked absent. However, if students were only gone for 17 minutes and they checked in with their first period teachers, they were not marked absent.”

Students who wish to further their influence and continue to have their voices heard can do so on March 24.

“The majority of the attention of our students will be toward the protest on March 24 at the Courthouse Square in Redwood City. There has been a great push to participate in that event, and that will be a much more politically-charged protest. Students have been working with local city councils and local authorities to ensure that everything runs smoothly,” Crame said.

Although the topic of gun violence remains controversial in society today, the main purpose of the nationwide school walkout was to show support for the 17 victims and their families.

Crame said, “I’m proud of the students for standing up and doing something that they believe in, regardless of the consequences that they may face because, in the real world, protests and walkouts might have consequences. They’re choosing to have their voices heard, and they’re trying to make a difference, so I’m proud of the way that they are organizing.”

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About the Contributor
Connor Lin, Staff Writer
Connor Lin is a senior at Carlmont High School. He enjoys writing, graphic design, and photography. He is currently Managing Editor for The Highlander. @connorlin_ (Visited 4 times today)
1 Comment

One Response to “Students express support through nationwide walkout”

  1. Jim Becka on March 17th, 2018 7:19 pm

    Nice article, but I don’t think another unenforced law will help. A minister once told me that you cannot legislate morality to a country.

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Students express support through nationwide walkout