Iowa students honoring Columbine with walkout

21 April, 2018, 04:44 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Iowa students honoring Columbine with walkout

Some Bellefonte Area High School students participated in the National School Walkout movement on Friday, but they didn't cut class.

"There's gun violence in the community and this is the one place where our students are safe - the schools", said Kennedy Middle School librarian Sara Attleson.

It comes on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, where two students killed a dozen of their classmates and one teacher in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. The Sheriff's Office for Marion County said the suspect was in custody following the early morning shooting at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida.

Some of their signs read: "Arm me with school funding", "Never again", "End school violence", and "Common sense gun laws! Since those 19 years, nothing has changed in terms of gun legislation and things need to change", said Alex Wind, a junior. They wanted to talk about the fears of school shootings and wanted to have their voices heard. There was one rally in support of National School Walkout Day where kids sat on the football field and held a moment of silence, while another featured students who were pro-gun and for gun owners' rights. "That takes a really literal message when you're afraid you are going to get shot going to math class".

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School administration assured students that, unlike the walkout from last month, no disciplinary action would be taken against participants as long as they agreed to hold the event in the school's senior courtyard rather than outside the school.

"It's really important that we stand up for ourselves, and voice our opinions and what we think needs to change in schools for us to feel safe because we should be anxious about things like prom and things not like our safety", Senior Alyssa DeLeo said.

"We've had activities at our schools, including writing letters for our representatives and voter registration", she said.

Some of the student speakers at the walkout say they want to keep the issue of gun violence in the forefront and continue to push for gun reform. The majority of the public responses to the march are from Democrats like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), who wrote about the massacre that took place at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, and noted that this fight is still being waged nearly two decades later.

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