Walkout for Awareness

Photo by Gabi Terrapin on Twitter. Caption: “We are students. We are victims. We are change. #nationalwalkout #ParklandStrong #NeverAgainMSD”

Students across the United States are walking out during school to spread awareness against gun violence.  Some schools have taken disciplinary action towards these students for skipping part of school, while others encourage the peaceful protest against a current issue.  The right of free speech and peaceful assembly is directly stated in the first amendment and by walking out, many argue that the students are finding their voice and fulfilling their civic duties.

The purpose of the walkout movement is to spread awareness for the issue of gun violence, protest the lack of political action against gun violence, and to honor the 17 victims who lost their lives in Florida.  There is no specific stance about firearm regulation in the walkout movement.

According to USA Today, there has been a school shooting every week since 2013.  It is important to know the classification of a school shooting and while the statistic is technically true, it can also be misleading.  Everytown for Gun Safety reports that there have been 290 school shootings since the tragic Newtown massacre five years ago. Nearly half  of these 290 shootings were attempted or completed suicides, accidental discharges, or a shooting without a single individual being harmed.  TIME states that the odds of being killed in a school shooting are less than 1 in 1 million.

There are many proposed changes to make schools safer.  Architects have recently taken measures to integrate additional security with bulletproof glass and safe rooms.  A popular suggestion is to increase the presence of law enforcement in high schools from 42% to 100%. Stricter gun regulation is another proposed solution.  President Donald Trump suggested that arming teachers with guns would stop the school shootings. Regardless of what additional measures are taken, experts say the best defense has been reporting any threats of a shooting to an authority.

On March 14th, students at Ledyard High School have organized and participated in a walkout to spread awareness about school shootings and gun violence.  Students were not disciplined for the walkout and the movement has been organized with the approval and support of the school.

The Colonel Staff

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