Nation-wide stance for gun restrictions; students shine attention on major issue


Mijin Cho

Students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Virginia hold signs and stand up for gun restriction. The seniors were not present during the walkout and instead were at the one in Washington, D.C.

Anika Arutla, Staff Writer

As part of a national walkout for gun control, students across the United States made signs, raised their fists and stood up for increased gun control as a reaction to the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on March 14.


The aftermath of the shooting left millions devastated but instead of just mourning, students decided to take action to put an end to the problem that has lingered for decades.


Coppell ISD was on spring break at the time of the planned walkout.


“I can say that it was truly heartwarming to see so many students come out in support of the victims of the Parkland shooting and it really shows the impact that this generation of students has on society and the world as a whole,” Shakopee (Minn.) High School freshman Manasa Valluru said.


In response to the shooting, students nationwide walked out of their classes in an effort to bring change to gun control laws.


The walkout lasted approximately 17 minutes to honor the 17 people who lost their lives during the shooting.  


Some schools did not allow students to leave but most schools supported the idea. Even then, teachers were required to stay in the building because they were not able to leave the students that decided to not participate.


“After the walkout, the teachers told me that they wanted to participate and be part of the movement but they ultimately couldn’t come due to the rules set in place,” San Diego (Calif.)  Bonita Vista High School senior Jonathan Tacher said.


Bonita Vista HS allowed for the students to leave after the walkout and most of the school participated.


“I would say about the majority of the school turned up to the walkout,” Tacher said. “Unfortunately some students came to goof off with their friends and it was upsetting but the people who came to truly support the cause were the ones who were inspiring.”


Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, Va. had 75 percent, according to TJHSST sophomore Khushi Chawla,  of the school participate with the seniors present at the larger walkout in Washington, D.C.


“Everyone wanted to show their support for the victims,” Chawla said. “They also wanted to voice their opinions about what should be done about gun restrictions. It was sad but they wanted to promote change so it was exciting in that aspect.”

Mijin Cho


On the contrary, at Parkway West High School in Chesterfield, Mo., junior Kaleiya Andrews said 200 out of 1,400 students participated and some teachers were allowed to partake in the walkout.


“The atmosphere was very uplifting and supporting and everyone was there to support each other,” Andrews said. “It was also very moving because everyone had strong feelings towards the issue.”


All of the walkouts included a moment of silence for the victims and speeches from various students who voiced their concerns and thoughts about gun violence.


These speeches brought attendees to tears and sparked hope among young citizens.


“Together, they voiced the ideas that all of us were thinking about,” Chawla said. “They addressed the concerns that all of us had about the issue.”


In terms of change, students believe the walkouts have had a huge impact.


“Considering that a whole bunch of schools in the U.S. have walked out for this reason,” Andrews said. “It’s bringing a lot of attention to it and saying that even though we’re younger and the younger generation, we care about the subject and it’s really us who are impacted by everyone else’s decisions.”


The next national walkout is planned for April 20.


Follow Anika on Twitter  @anikaarutla