The Stone Tablet

Students March For Safety

Students+walking+together+in+the+February+22nd+walkout.+They+circled+the+school+for+seventeen+minutes+before+promptly+returning+to+class%2C+knowing+they+had+taken+part+in+something+amazing.
Students walking together in the February 22nd walkout. They circled the school for seventeen minutes before promptly returning to class, knowing they had taken part in something amazing.

Students walking together in the February 22nd walkout. They circled the school for seventeen minutes before promptly returning to class, knowing they had taken part in something amazing.

Students walking together in the February 22nd walkout. They circled the school for seventeen minutes before promptly returning to class, knowing they had taken part in something amazing.

Emmaleigh B., Staff Writer

Students, parents, and teachers nationwide are coming together like never before with a powerful message that seems to resonate in just about everyone who hears it. Since the 2018 shooting in Florida, people are coming together in a massive attempt to tighten gun control laws, and prevent another terrible tragedy like the one that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School, and many other schools throughout the history of our country.

Since there are so many people involved, the specific goal of protesters seems to vary. Many protesters simply want gun laws tightened, more background checks, and guns that are considered more dangerous, such as automatic and semi-automatic weapons, banned. Other people seem to be pushing for an overall ban on the possession of firearms. No matter how extreme the intention, it is very clear that all participants are unhappy with the current gun laws and are looking for some kind of change. Many schools across the country have held protests, with the majority of those having participated in the National School Walkout on March 14th. According to CNN, this walkout was organized by Empower, which is the youth branch of the Women’s March. Students from elementary to high school were encouraged to participate. This walkout caused quite a stir and many teachers and administrators weren’t sure what to do as the bulk of their students boldly stood and left, some schools threatened punishment for students who left and others did not. Overall, the amount of students who were brave enough to stand and leave shows that even the youth isn’t afraid to stand up and fight for change when it is needed.

The issue of gun violence in schools is something that affects every student, including those here at Stone. Many of the students attending Stone participated in the National School Walkout, and also organized a walkout on February 22nd. Stone’s protests remained peaceful, but certainly drew attention from students in the cafeteria and other areas of the school. Some argue that the only reason students participate in the protests is to get out of class,and though that may be somewhat true many students attended protests outside of school, including The March For Our Lives. Sydney M, 8th grade, said that the protesters in D.C. were, “aggravated, because there was like no room and everyone was shouting at each other, but the people in the front seemed pretty moved.”

The March For Our Lives took place in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2018. It was primarily organized by students, but with the help of their parents, social media, and other adults around them, they were able to create an amazing and inspiring event. According to CBS News, the crowds reached nearly 203,000 people. The crowd was filled with both students and adults and all were excited. There were many speeches given that inspired the crowd, as well as those who couldn’t make it to the march. One of the more powerful speeches came from Emma González who is quoted as having stood on the stage in silence for several minutes before finally saying, “Since the time I came out here, it has been 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle and blend in with the students so he can walk free for an hour before arrest,” then said, “Fight for your lives before it is someone else’s job.” This quote seems to have been adopted as one of the slogans of the movement. The walk was a big step for the movement and drew the attention of many news stations.

The majority of the government responses have consisted of hopeful thoughts and kind wishes to the victims of the shootings, though it seems little actual action has been taken in the time since the protests have started. Here at Stone we have reviewed the lockdown procedures, and done more lockdown drills, which has comforted students to an extent. The walkout taking place on April 20th is another sign that students aren’t going to back down until change happens. The hope of having the people of our country decide to protect children before guns is a hope that is going to be abandoned. Whether physically or at heart, students will continue to march for the rest of their lives.

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