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Stand Up, Walk Out

Protest against gun violence held on the anniversary of Columbine Tragedy

National+School+Walkout+2018
National School Walkout 2018

National School Walkout 2018

Will Tarpley

Will Tarpley

National School Walkout 2018

Emma Bittner, Co Editor-in-Chief

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A movement starts with a simple step.

On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students in Frisco ISD, as well as schools across the country, banded together and walked out in protest against gun violence, hoping to spark change across the nation.

A sea of orange, filled with posters and passionate students filed out of their classes at 12:05 p.m., making their way to a field filled with speakers, students, administrators, protesters and anti-protesters trying to make their voice heard. Seventeen students stood in a single file line, shoulder to shoulder and proceeded to read each name of a Parkland and Columbine victim aloud, placing an orange rose down in their honor.

With speeches expressing their concern with our nation, as well as their desperate cry for change, adults and students voiced their hopes for the future.

We are not anti gun, we are pro-gun reform. we don’t want to take away your guns, I just want to not be slaughtered at school.”

— junior Lindsay Bartholomew

Frisco ISD spoke out about the walkouts taking place and was staying neutral in today’s events, “not supporting nor opposing the student-led walkouts,” as noted by Meghan Cone.

Furthermore, the right to protest was honored by FISD, but in a peaceful and limited way.

“The District is not facilitating the walkouts,” Cone reminded. “FISD is meeting its legal responsibility to establish a limited public forum on each campus for students to exercise their first amendment rights.”

As those continued to exercise their first amendment rights, the walkout transitioned from the allotted and supported time to an off-campus protest. Few headed back to class, but many followed the masses to a small grassy area.

Speeches continued by student organizers, as well as passionate students. Many still paraded around with posters, filling the sidewalks with chalk messages, as well as registering those eligible to vote.

Organized and civil the protest seemed successful, but why walkout? Passion and determination for change were the the most common motivation to abandon class and join the movement.

“I live in a country that allows me to do things like this,” junior Ilma Zamurad said. “To protest issues that are nothing but the matter of money and politicians.”

“I walked out today because enough is enough. I am tired of seeing lives being slaughtered. We are the change.”

— junior Selin Yavuzcan

What students did today made an impact that influences today, tomorrow and the days to come.

“We walk out to make a change,” junior Katie Gressett explained. “We use protests for decades and this is just a small version of the change that is to come.”

A small act of civil disobedience will bring attention to the something larger life, students do this because they feel they need to.

“This is something that shouldn’t need to be said, but apparently it does and that’s why I am out here,” senior Shelby Jones said.  “Someone needs to say it. Someone needs to stand up for those who can’t say it because they’ve been shot already. It’s for them and to protect everyone else.

“I chose to walk out. I don’t want to be another statistic. I don’t want anyone in my city or in this country to be a statistic,” junior Lindsay Bartholomew said. “We are not anti gun, we are pro-gun reform. We don’t want to take away your guns, I just want to not be slaughtered at school.”

Students are done being scared of going to school unsure of what will happen. We are scared of the unknown and have chosen to take the matter into our own hands.

“I am walking out today because everyday I come to school afraid of if any of my peers are going to die or if i’m gonna die. To say that we live in a free country where we have to worry everyday, that is not a free country,” junior Simon Heimersson said. “I want to live in a place where I can go to school and not worry about my brother, my family, my peers, myself dying, just because I was doing what I was supposed to.”

“I chose to walk out because enough is enough. In the future, we are the adults, it is time to get these politicians to listen to us because we are the generation of change.””

— senior Mia Swanson

A small act of persistence to stand out from the masses, to stand up for themselves, those who have lose their lives, those who couldn’t protest and voice their opinions today because they have already lost the battle to gun violence.

Students have repeatedly announced that this is the difference in today’s society. This is the future. This is the change.

“I have the same popular opinion as the consensus around me here today, gun violence needs to stop. It is possible to be pro gun and pro gun reform, you need to be sure that guns need to go with people who are mentally stable. We have lost all idea of what is reasonable anymore.” ”

— Walkout Supporter

Will Tarpley
Student poses with poster at the walk out
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About the Writer
Emma Bittner, Co Editor-in-Chief

What started out as an interest in writing and the need for a technology credit turned into a passion and a place to put forth my effort in high school as the Co Editor-in-Chief. I’m what you would call an overachiever or a try-hard because I’m involved in literally everything. Whenever I’m not busy with school, I’m taking pictures or driving around blaring music with friends.

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