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Hills Students Participate in National School Walk-Out

By Journalism Students, Staff Writers

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Hundreds of WHHS students walked out of school for 17 minutes on March 14, 2018 to honor the students and teachers who died in the Parkland shooting and to protest gun violence.

“I think this was a really important thing for us to do as students and really showed that we can come together to try to make a difference,” said Dezi Tulipano, a senior.  “You have to start somewhere,” she added.

The walkout was part of a national event to mark one-month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students and teachers dead; this movement was affiliated with the #ENOUGH campaign from the National School Walkout facilitated by the Women’s March Youth.

Students carried signs bearing photos of the deceased and spoke about each victim for 30 seconds.  There was also a moment of silence followed by some chanting of the slogan “No More Silence, End Gun Violence.”

Several students chose to speak out and share personal thoughts to crowd about their concerns for loved ones who have been traumatized by the event.

“My little brother should not feel like after he goes to school, he won’t come back,” said Precious Obidigbo, senior who spoke during the event.

Some students elected to stay in class for a variety of reasons.

“Honestly, I would have been the first one out there if the organizers had mentioned that this was dedicated to the kids who died,” said Nick Casasanta, senior. “It was all political.” Casasanta adds that while he does support the second amendment, he does not believe that people should be carrying AR-15s, the weapon used by the shooter in the Parkland incident.  It was all about the wording of the sign-up students used to indicate they would participate that Casasanta objected to.

“I do support changes in gun laws,” said Kaushik Tallam, sophomore, “I just don’t think going outside will make much of a difference,” he adds.

Others could not leave class due to absences. Students were marked absent for the period, but the school, which did not sanction the event, did not penalize them by issuing cuts.  

“I really wanted to attend, but I couldn’t afford the absence,” said Riley Garcia, senior.

“I don’t think we should be openly protesting against our President, since he is our leader,” said sophomore Jack Woodward.

While the majority of students were quiet during the walk-out, a handful were loud and laughing.

“It’s not a funny matter,” said Danya Abdou, a senior. “This is serious.  People lost their lives and people think it’s ok to laugh. Maybe when it directly affects them, that would change.”

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Hills Students Participate in National School Walk-Out