Students Protest Gun Violence

| April 24, 2018

A copious amount of students line Ray Bon road. The estimated number of participants was between 400 and 600. Photo by Austin Cohea

By Austin Cohea | Assistant Editor |

A student-led walkout took place Friday April 20, in which students nationwide protested for stricter gun laws was a result of school shootings, which have been on the rise since the 1990s.

Speaking of the 90s: the walkout was on the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Per district policy, participants received an unexcused absence but no other punitive consequences.

The event brought a sense of unity to many students.

Juniors Kevin Sierra Hernandez and Bianca Flores march from Ray Bon to Walzem road.

“I mean it was really nice to see everyone like, unified for once,” junior and protester Maia Smith said, “I think that it was pretty impactful, if nothing else it drew attention to the fact that we really do care about it.”

Administration and the NEISD police force monitored the event for the first few hours, then sent an email communication reminding students to return to class.

Teachers were instructed to remain teaching and to take accurate attendance throughout the day. Teachers on conference were also called out to supervise the event to ensure safety.

Administration could neither condemn nor approve the student-led walkout that was part of a national movement that day. Administration also encouraged student protesters to find ways that their voices can be heard outside of the school day.

“I think we had some kids very unified, and I think we had some people who were there just not wanting to be in class,” principal Melvin Echard said. “When we protest it has to be excellent, we can be exceptional, we can be heartfelt. I think as long as we do that, the passion of the Rough Riders comes out.”

While most of the students who walked out were passionate about the cause, some took it as an excuse to skip class.

“I would say that there’s a valid reason to say that some of them were leaving not because they were participating in the protest but just because they wanted to get out of class,” Smith said, “but I don’t think that people shouldn’t doubt our generation as much as they do, because really even though we mess around and some of us don’t take things as seriously as we should, we definitely have our opinions and we have a very strong voice.”

 

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Junior Assistant Editor Photographer Planning to study Communications and Journalism after high school.

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