Photo Courtesy of @CPHSfalcons Twitter.
Student Walkout: CP Students Have Had Enough
By: Jessica Rosas
One month ago on Feb. 14, 2018, 17 students, teachers and coaches were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Survivors of the massacre joined tens of thousands of students across the U.S. by walking out of school at 10:00 am on Wednesday, March 14.
College Park High School was one of those thousands of schools that participated in the walk out. It began with an announcement by junior Olivia Staton who began with an announcement on the location and agenda.
The falcons walked to the football field, holding signs protesting gun violence and wearing maroon and gold, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school colors, in addition to orange to represent solidarity. Some signs read: “This kid has had #Enough,” “Fear has no place in our school,” and “5 m rich members hold 327 m citizens hostage.”
After the students got to the football field Staton gave a small speech providing information on the walk out and its importance. She was followed by students that read the 17 victims names with some background information. She then asked for 17 seconds of silence. Around 400 students silently paid respect to those whose lives were lost. The walk out lasted 17 minutes to honor 17 victims and to seize attention from the National Rifle Association. Students were heard chanting, “NRA NRA HOW MANY KIDS HAVE YOU KILLED TODAY?”
The walk out was student led and it began with a group of students demanding change. After meeting with the school’s administration everyone came to an agreement that the walk out was necessary.
Staton commented on her motivation to organize the walk out.
“I think a lot of what motivated me to start the walkout was involving myself in the communities that were affected and seeing both the grief and the passion that they displayed. Also, as a student of this country, I was sick of seeing a new shooting in our headlines, a new tweet from a politician about their ‘thoughts and prayers’ of those effected, and then allowing people’s lives to just be swept under the rug. I recognize that there is a gun violence problem here and gun control will stop it” Staton said.
Some can say the walk out was a waste of time and that the students used it as an opportunity to get out of class, but Staton believes otherwise. She is convinced that the students were genuinely passionate and interested in addressing the issue of gun violence.
“I got so many overwhelming messages of support, so many people wanted to actively participate and they would give me ideas on how to better this, and then the utter respect of the kids who both walked out onto the field and to the front of the school,” Staton said.
Staton believes that other countries are leading by example and have had success to reduce gun violence.
“A good guy with a gun does not stop a bad guy with a gun. Bans work – Australia and the United Kingdom lowering their gun violence records by large numbers after implementing restrictions is just two of many examples. A gun has no other purpose but mass violence,” Staton said.
Students nationwide are not done and the walkouts were just the beginning of a greater movement. Their next step is to march with the whole community including parents, teachers, administrators, and other students. The March For Our Lives will be this Saturday, March 24 in every city at 10:00am. This march is for new gun reform.
The March For Our Lives is an event Staton is very interested in attending.
“I personally believe that this march is important because while enough was ran by those who organized the women’s march, march for our lives is completely organized by the parkland survivors. The mission of this march is unified – were done watching our peers die in school, a kids right to live and be educated is much more important than an adults right to own an ar-15.”
If you would like to join the March For Our Lives you can visit https://event.marchforourlives.com/event/march-our-lives-events/search/ to find an event near you.