Walking Out for a Cause

Many+students+gathered+around+to+protest+for+school+safety+and+gun+control+on+a+cold+windy+Wednesday+morning+at+Round+Lake+High+School.
Many students gathered around to protest for school safety and gun control on a cold windy Wednesday morning at Round Lake High School.

Many students gathered around to protest for school safety and gun control on a cold windy Wednesday morning at Round Lake High School.

Many students gathered around to protest for school safety and gun control on a cold windy Wednesday morning at Round Lake High School.

Jenifer Morales

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Last month, 17 lives were lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire on his school with AR-15 style weapon. After this terrifying tragedy, students from all over the country started gathering together to protest for school safety and gun control by walking out of school

In order to commemorate the students lost in the Stoneman Douglas tragedy, students from Round Lake High School— as well as students all around the country—participated in a school walkout. The gathering started at 10 a.m., and the walk out ran about 17 minutes. The 17 minutes of silence was to honor the 17 students and staff that died. By attending this occasion, many students hoped their voices would be heard, even though many adults may think that teenagers are not old enough to state their opinions.

The walkouts were organized by Youth Empower, a division of the Women’s March organization. Co-presidents of the Women’s March organization are Tamika D. Mallory and Bob Bland. Mallory is an individual that continues to work for civil equality. Bland is the CEO and founder of clothing company Manufacture New York. Another individual behind the organization is board member Carmen Perez, who has worked in several different positions for different nonprofits help with equality issues. These women and others work together to organize national events and protests in order to gain the attention of lawmakers.  

Many RLHS students joined the walkout movement and were supported by teachers and staff. While many of the students see a need for gun law reform, most saw the walkout as a way to honor the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Fla.

Sophomore Ruby Gurrola said, “My heart goes out to the children who didn’t get to fulfill their lives and the teachers that protected the children.”  The misfortune makes Gurrola feel that students and teachers should never be placed in a frightening situation in the first place.

Bryant Castillo, a freshman who also participated in the walkout at RLHS, said, “Humans have the potential to make an impact, but we all have to come together as one to be able to achieve what we want.” However, Castillo thinks that the government will not make a huge change because it has failed to make any changes in the past. In his point of view, the walk out was a success, yet “it bothered me that how we have such morons and kids that are so disrespectful” because some students did use the walkout as nothing more than an opportunity to get out of class. “The students should put themselves in the victims’ shoes and they would know how others feel,” he said.

Despite the few students who may have acted immaturely, the overwhelming response from students, staff, and administration was that the walkout was extremely respectful and organized. Students even received a letter from Superintendent Ms. Constance Collins congratulating them on a successful, meaningful walkout.

More walkous are coming in 2018.  For instance, the March for our Lives will be held Saturday, March 24. The march is organized Everytown for Gun Safety. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the students from Stoneman Douglas helped arrange the occasion. The main march will take place in Washington, D.C., but other marches will be held in cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Additionally, another walkout will place April 20 (the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting) for all high school students to protest against Congress on better gun control and for teenagers’ voices to be heard. 

Overall,marches are a calm, positive way to protest . Gun control is a very sensitive topic, but when schools and children’s lives are involved, everyone has equal rights to state their own opinion and thoughts.

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