Across the United States thousands of students are paying the consequences of their beliefs. On Wednesday, March 24th, 2018, these students chose to walk out of their classrooms. The purpose of the walkout was twofold: as a tribute and as a protest. The tribute consisted of a seventeen minute walkout in memory of the seventeen deaths on February 14th, 2018.
The scheduled walkout began around ten A.M. in each time zone around the country. The CNN article titled, “ A Generation Raised on Gun Violence Sends a Loud Message to Adults; Enough” said that the tributes took on different forms: “…some participants read the names of each victim; others stood in silence around sets of empty chairs. At Granada Hills Charter High School in Los Angeles, students laid down on a football field to spell out the walkout’s rallying cry: Enough.”
The demonstrations were in many cities throughout the states and took on many different forms such as the waving of signs and chanting with the theme “Enough”. Kate Whitman, a junior at La Guardia High School in New York, said, “This is not a matter of left vs right. This is a matter of public safety. We’re all working together, which is something we haven’t seen from the adults in a every long time.” The students are asking for three main changes. The first one is to ban assault weapons, the second, to require universal background checks before gun sales, and the third would be to pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.
In an effort to improve the safety of students, the US House of Representatives
passed a bill to increase safety measures at schools. The bill had the support of both the Democrats and the Republicans. While the protest continued, the state of Illinois created a new measure which made 21 the new age to be allowed to buy an assault weapon.
While the decision to protest is up to each individual, students would chose to walk or sit during the walkout. A senior at Lapeer High School in Michigan, Austin Roth, says, “I am 100 percent supportive of those who marched to honor victims of gun violence. However, I am not supportive of those who use a tragic event to push their political agendas, such as gun control.
In spite of threatened consequences for walking out, that did not stop students like Pope High School Senior Kara Litwin who said, “Change never happens without backlash. This is a movement, this is not simply a moment, and this is only the first step in our long process.” The consequences included, “Saturday school to five day suspension per district guidelines.” Columbine High School Student Rachel Hill said, “This [shootings] could happen to us at anytime. We don’t need comfort anymore. We need to change the way things are done all over the country.”
Always keep in mind that consequences can be worth it, only if you are truly standing up for what you believe in, not what the surrounding people want up to believe.
Photo By: hellogiggles.com
by Sarah Hanson