Walkout behavior embarrassing


Julia Rosete

Seniors Shania Larkin and Vanessa Quinones hang out of the back seat of their friend’s car, chanting things like “end gun violence” and “we want gun control.”

Jumping gates. Smashing locks. Shattering windows. This was the result of Stagg students “protesting” last Friday. In the aftermath of the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that took the lives of 17 students, many schools around the nation decided to rise up with those who advocate for gun control and to honor those who lost their lives in the massacre.

While many other schools had peaceful protests and walkouts, a handful of our peers decided to cause havoc. We, not only as students and citizens of this country, but as human beings should be able to conduct a peaceful protest without destroying property and disrespecting those trying to stand up for a cause.

The Feb. 23 walkout was planned for students to participate in a 17 minute protest for gun control and to honor the victims from Stoneman Douglas. While some of us exited our third periods for the best intentions last Friday, those efforts were squandered by those who took advantage of the situation to get out of classes and act like fools.

It’s horrible that those who decided to go out and smash other peoples’ windows, assault police officers, and jump on vehicles were selfish enough to commit such acts, especially during a time in which many are grieving. The protest was ruined for those who actually cared, whose voices were buried underneath violent and idiotic actions, feeding the stereotype that is placed upon our age group and school.

While our peers who fed into the frenzy will be dealing with repercussions, the stain of their insolence will be remembered instead of the honorable cause. Those who came out with the intention to change our country for the better should have been the center of attention.

Despite the chaotic nature of the protest, a thoughtful message was delivered by students Monday morning. The speech called for us to stand as one and conduct peaceful protests, to think of those coping with tragedy in Florida instead of ourselves. At the end a rally was announced. During the rally students from ASB stated 17 reasons why protesting for this cause was so important. The students who sought to bring light to the issue of Friday’s events while also calling for an informational and peaceful rally to discuss protesting deserve credit. Hopefully we can learn from the experience, not repeat it.