SamoHi Conducts Organized Walkout Against Gun Violence
Some on the right question whether participation in the walkout was forced.
March 15, 2018
The SMMUSD organized a walkout at 10 am Wednesday morning, to protest the recent shooting of 17 high school students in Parkland Florida. They called for more gun laws, and laws to address gun violence in the United States.
2500 santa monica high school students gathered on the athletic field, and listened to speakers, mostly in favor of gun control.
One of the young women who organized the protest, Jasmine, told us:
"Today we had a walkout at santa monica high school we started at 10 a.m. and lasted until 10:17.
Seventeen minutes, one for each of the victims lost in the Parkland shooting we have a choice, a very powerful choice.
Our program included a short biography of each of the victims; their interests and hobbies.
Thanks to everybody that participated! We announced our plans for an April 20th walk out that is still in the works. we don't have much information other than April 20th we will be marching to City Hall
The important thing is that we came together as a collective and decided to do something on an issue that affects our country."
Some commentators on the right, such as Laura Ingraham on Fox News, called this a manipulated effort to use taxpayer dollars and public schools to advance a political agenda that many parents and students oppose.
The New York Times, and most mainstream media, were supportive of the protest. "Even after a year of near continuous protesting - for women, for the environment, for immigrants and more - the emergence of people not even old enough to drive as a political force has been particularly arresting, unsettling a gun control debate that had seemed impervious to other factors.
In Florida, where students from Stoneman Douglas High and other schools had rallied in the state capital, the governor signed a bill last week that raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days.
On a national level, the students have not had the same impact. This week, President Trump abandoned gun control proposals that the Republican-led Congress had never even inched toward supporting.
But, for one day at least, the students commanded the country's airwaves, Twitter feeds and Snapchat stories.
Principals and superintendents seemed disinclined to stop them. Some were outright supportive, though others warned that students would face disciplinary consequences for leaving school. At many schools, teachers and parents joined in." https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/us/school-walkout.html