Delayed by storm, ME students walk out Thursday over school shootings

Lester Mason
March 18, 2018

"What's really awesome here is just the maturity and the understanding of these students".

"We didn't get to speak our minds".

This growing movement was sparked by the tragedy that occurred on February 14 at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla.

Students across the country walked out of their classrooms Wednesday to protest gun violence and demand change. Activists hoped it would be the biggest demonstration of student activism yet in response to last month's massacre in Florida.

They also honored the 17 students killed in the school shooting in Florida by playing bells and sent the message they meant to send Wednesday.

At Granada Hills Charter High School in Los Angeles, students laid prone on the field of a football stadium to form a giant #ENOUGH, symbolizing the thousands of youth who die of gun violence every year in the United States.

"Although we couldn't walk out yesterday, we're showing that we're not giving up", Tasha Hipple, a 14-year-old Casco Bay freshman, told the crowd outside her school. "And yet our leaders are telling us that we should fight violence with violence, that we should arm teachers".

"I don't think this is a protest".

Parkland High School outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, shares more than a name with the school in Parkland, Florida.

Stoneman Douglas freshman Daniel Duff, who survived the shooting by hiding in a closet but lost seven of his friends, is the cousin of Collin and Kyleigh Duff, who go to Parkland High in Pennsylvania.

Republicans have sponsored more than 80 percent of bills that would expand gun rights, while Democrats have introduced more than 90 percent of bills to limit them.

Just after 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning, students at Indian River High School stood together, silent. On April 20th, students across the country will leave school for the day on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine Shooting, and Venice High School Students are planning another protest for this day as well.

While students were encouraged by the turnout, they made clear that there is still an uphill battle ahead, and that there is no time for complacency.


In June 2017, a threat was made by a Minnetonka High School student against the school and the student was arrested before school began the next day.

Community High School District 99 says they met with students ahead of Wednesday's protests and offered them alternatives but the students turned those options down.

"We as students have the right to live free of unnecessary violence, and change needs to happen".

School officials are reviewing surveillance video from Antioch High School and Metro police are viewing social media videos trying to identify the students who caused the disturbance.

"This is not politics".

Monday, he would go to school and determine what, if anything, was planned there for Wednesday. "It is exhausting", said Sage Watterson, reading from an original poem, "Never Again".

In the current conversation around gun violence, the concerns from students in the Bronx are ignored in favor of partisan policy solutions that exist to get politicians elected to office, not to fundamentally change the conditions that young people are facing and fighting to change.

"Administration didn't fairly use their policy across the board", he said.

Police said the student was waving a flag in support of President Trump when he was ambushed by at least eight classmates. A 17-year-old junior has been charged with manslaughter in Arrington's death.

Students in Freeport, Marshwood, York and Yarmouth high schools joined in the national protest Wednesday, while organizers at other ME schools postponed because of the storm.

Since the Florida shooting, students have been leading the charge on gun control, demanding that lawmakers pass new gun laws to keep their schools safe.

Morrow said that while the core Minnetonka group of the West Metro Walkout will be protest at Rep. Erik Paulsen's office, it is a bipartisan protest.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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