Friday, September 18, 2020
US flag

Students walk out over gun and safety issues

Thousand, or perhaps millions, of students walked out of their classrooms for 17 minutes Wednesday morning at 10 AM local time, in memory of the 17 students killed one month ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, at the hands of a shooter with a semiautomatic rifle. Students protested in order to call attention to gun control and school safety.

The #NeverAgain protest in Washington, D.C. (Victoria Pickering / Flickr Creative Commons)

They symbolically joined hands in Chicago and Baltimore, as well as in Littleton, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and in Parkland, Florida:

Embed from Getty Images

It would, in fact, be difficult to find a school or area of the country that was not affected by student walkouts. School officials prepared for the protest, which had been planned for some time, especially over social media, in different ways. While not condoning the walkout, school officials in District 211 in Palatine, Illinois, signed a letter to students and parents:

District 211 personnel do not support or condone these walkout activities. We are committed to providing a safe and secure experience for students throughout every school day, including during a potential walkout. In order to help ensure everyone’s safety, we have developed the following guidelines in the event of a student walkout.

Teachers will record student attendance at the beginning of each class period. Students participating in the walkout are expected to remain on campus and any student leaving the campus without proper authority will receive an unexcused absence. Any student participating in the walkout will be expected to return to class immediately following walkout activities. When re-entering the school, students will need to show their school ID. Students failing to return to school in a timely manner may be accountable for their absence.

Other schools, however, guided students participating in the walkout to help them remain safe or held assemblies in the school to talk about school safety. But the protests themselves were marked by the typical eloquence of young speakers, future leaders, and those affected by the violence they’re protesting against.

We have grown up watching more tragedies occur and continuously asking: Why?” the New York Times quoted Kaylee Tyner, a 16-year-old junior at Columbine High School outside Denver, where 13 people were killed in 1999—inaugurating, in the public consciousness, the era of school shootings—as saying. “Why does this keep happening?

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Students help in wake of Gulf Coast storms

Hurricane victims in the South got some much needed help from students at one Louisiana school. Laura and Sally have been very destructive.

Scientific American endorses a candidate

It's rare that a science journal would endorse a presidential candidate, but it has happened, due mainly to Pres. Trump's rejection of science.

Student news roundup, Maryland, Sept. 16

The pandemic reveals much more about us than our unpreparedness for virtual learning; Md. students look at healthcare and choices about schooling.

Smoke from Calif. paints the East Coast sun

The sunrise this morning in Baltimore and Chicago was cooled by smoke from the Calif. wildfires, which created a thick haze aloft.

Student news roundup, Illinois, Sept. 14

Special ed advocate in Evanston dies; Remembering 9/11; Business, fine arts, and cultural life during the pandemic.

No, the president can’t run for a 3rd term

The 22nd Amendment limits the number of times a president can be elected to two. But maybe Constitutions mean little to the current administration.

Worst Calif. wildfire season in decades

Wildfires in what could be one of Calif.'s worst autumns ever have destroyed structures, including schools, killed people, and mass evacuations.

Children will wait to impress others

Does it pay off to wait for a bigger reward, or should you just take a smaller reward quicker? The "marshmallow test" has some insights.

School opens virtually in most Md. districts

School is now in session across all of Maryland, and it's mostly online, despite calls to keep trying to get in-person instruction.

Student news roundup, Illinois, Sept. 8

The pandemic, performing arts, and politics generally led student news stories from the Prairie State this past week.

On Trump’s ‘losers’ and ‘suckers’ remark

It was hard to swallow when it was reported that the president said military personnel who had died in battle were suckers and losers.