Peaceful Protest held to Raise Awareness for more Restrictions on Gun Laws

Students participated in the nationwide walkout a month after the Florida shooting

Hundreds of students came to the peaceful protest on Wednesday, March 14.

Hundred of students around campus gathered at the flagpole on Wednesday, March 14 for 17 minutes of silence to honor the lives of the 17 students and teachers whose lives were tragically taken at a Florida school shooting that occurred last month.

According to CNN, organizers of the Women’s March from the EMPOWER youth branch had encouraged students and teachers around the nation to walk-out of school exactly one month     from when the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High happened.

On campus, the Woke Club took part in promoting the walk-out by making posters and handing out orange wristbands around school to empower students to take an active role in this peaceful protest. They set up 17 chairs to represent the lives of the students and teachers whose lives were lost the day of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. This urged students to empathize, as if the victims had been their own friends, family and classmates.

“We’re not just going to stand idly by and let this all happen to us because it affects us and we have to take action,” junior and president of the Woke Club, Izzy Eyre said.

The walk-out began with several speeches made by students of the club, including Ben Lieberman who thanked teachers and students for their participation in the event, and senior Isabel Mercado who described how desensitized the current generation has become. She explains that students are able to see a death count on a screen and acknowledge that it is unfortunate, but they do not fully register or understand what the number on the screen really means.

Following this, senior Juanita Lopez read an emotional poem written by 15-year-old Samantha Deitsch, a survivor of the shooting who touched students and teachers alike when she described the horrific events and emotions victims went through when they encountered gun violence and loss firsthand.

“I hope [the government] listens, and I hope they realize that we are the future and what we want as the people and as future voters, is gun reform,” Lopez said.

Along with students, administration and teachers were also at the walk-out to help supervise the large amount of students that had attended. Some teachers showed support by wearing orange and others by simply attending and listening to the ideas presented at the walk-out.

“It is important [for students] to express their opinions and find their voice. I think that is part of becoming educated and also being a contributing member to a democratic society,” assistant principal Scott Sodorff said.

The walk-out not only gave the school a chance to remember those who had lost their lives in Florida, but also provided a platform for the importance of gun safety and regulation worldwide. That Wednesday, the Woke Club exhibited the power the current generation has to make changes to the world when it needs it most.  

“The walk-out was a great opportunity to bring attention to the problem and address it and show solidarity as a nation,” Eyre said.