March 14th Student Walkout

By Maggie Foa

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After the shooting in Parkland, an incredible group of Florida teens called on America to make changes in regards to gun violence. One of the responses to their outcry was the planning of a national school walkout, in which hundreds of Arapahoe students and staff participated.

The event’s purpose was to protest congress’s inaction in regards to gun violence, and use our voices as democratic constituents to express our support for common sense gun legislation, better mental health resources, and funding research into the epidemic.

The administration and school board did an excellent job regarding the event. While they couldn’t vocalize any political opinions, they did a stellar job supporting our first amendment rights to speech and assembly. Along with the organizers and those participating, they were met with substantial backlash.

On the day, students and staff congregated in the outdoor classroom area. Eight pre-selected students made speeches in regards to this movement. Common themes included mental health, gun control, and the need for students to remain vocal on the issue. This was followed by a moment of silence in remembrance of all that have passed away due to gun violence.

The journalism team arrived early and stayed late. They interviewed attendees, took photos and videos of each speaker, and coordinated the presence of a drone to capture footage from above.

Supportive community members lined the nearest street. Under the request of Arapahoe’s incredible SROs, they were not allowed on campus, but their cheers could be heard from the outdoor classroom, and the knowledge that they were there created a unified and supportive atmosphere.

At 10:17, students returned to class. Later that evening, walkouts were the subject of ample news coverage. Only time will tell what the true impact of these walkouts will be, but the passion witnessed today leads me to the assumption that our generation will be the change on this issue. We will make tomorrow safer than yesterday.

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