Students prepare for National School Walkout


Courtesy of WOSU Public Media

Since the Parkland shooting, many students across the nation have protested publicly against current gun laws through walkouts and marches.

On Wednesday, March 14 and Friday, April 20, students across the US plan to walk out of their schools for stronger gun control laws. These protests are a result of the recent shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which was the deadliest school shooting in American history.

The protest is to be peaceful, where students walk out of the school for 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost in the recent shooting. The walkout is being planned by the Women’s March’s Youth EMPOWER group.

A few Central students have anonymously created an Instagram account @hchswalkout to publicize the protest.

“With the walkouts, we’re attempting to add to the national voice that has already been apparent by many, many other teens our age across the country. By walking out of school, together, as a collective nationwide group of the next generation, our leaders will maybe finally begin to realize that teens do have a voice, and it should be heard and listened to. Once we have their attention, it might be easier to make some change in legislation regarding gun control,” said an anonymous senior administrator of @hchswalkout.

The owners of the unaffiliated HC Instagram account created a poll in which 145 students said they would participate in the March 14 walkout.

The April protest is a growing national movement which is gaining support from students nationwide. The protest is planned to be held on April 20 which is the 19-year anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

There have been circulating rumors around the school that students will be punished for participating in either event.

With the student body being so diverse it is likely that students overall are split over whether to participate in the walkout or not.

“I definitely feel strongly about the subject, and I definitely think that something needs to change, but I just don’t see how a school walkout can fix anything. If anything, it could cause more harm than good,” said Anuj Karamchandani, sophomore.

Many students believe that a walkout will have no effect on gun control laws.

“One voice can make a difference. When you want change, in any situation, you can just sit by and say ‘someone else will speak up.’ It doesn’t work like that. A bunch of individual voices add up. If you automatically assume that a protest, walkout, or any action for change is useless, I think that says that you don’t even want things to change in the first place,” said another anonymous senior administrator of @hchswalkout.

Even if reform were to happen it remains unclear of what specific changes would take place.

“I don’t want a complete ban on guns because I’m all about freedom, but I don’t think a mentally ill 19-year-old should be able to get a semi-automatic weapon. I guess I just think there should be stricter checks, so these weapons are only in the hands of those who will use them for good,” said an anonymous junior administrator of @hchswalkout.

Mrs. Phillip, the activities director, did not comment on the possibility of consequences. School administrators are still figuring out the logistics of the walkouts, but national walkouts are planned to occur on March 14 and April 20.