Blackhawks Pay Tribute to Gun Violence Victims

We’re not trying to disrupt education. We’re trying to protect it.”

— Angie Soria '19

“We’re not trying to disrupt education,” said Angie Soria ‘19. “We’re trying to protect it.”

On March 14, students from La Quinta High voluntarily participated in a nationwide protest aimed to spark conversation about gun violence and pay respect to the lives lost in the Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre.

According to Dr. Wilson, who is the principal at LQHS, three groups of students scheduled a meeting with him a week prior to March 14 to discuss the planning of the walk-out. The students had drafted a timely schedule exhibiting the event’s details and Dr. Wilson signed off on the student-organized event. “It wasn’t a matter of administration supporting students in walking out, but acknowledging it and realizing that this was going to happen no matter what,” said Dr. Wilson.

 

 

Thao Nguyen

Once the clock struck 10 a.m., students walked out of their classrooms to head over to the basketball court to the track, chanting, “Enough is enough.” In front of the student-led migration, a group of Blackhawks held a sign that read “#ENOUGH” along with participating students’ signatures. Parents and local citizens were also present, standing in solidarity with the Blackhawk students behind the gates of the football field.

After one lap around the football field, students made their way to the home side bleachers while 18 students walked on the field carrying 18 balloons to symbolize the 17 lives lost in Florida’s massacre. The additional balloon was in remembrance of a student that lost his life, the same morning of the walkout, in an accidental school shooting in Alabama.

There were four student speakers: Nathalyn Johnson ‘19, Emily Martinez ‘19, Olivia  Billingsly ‘19, and Angie Soria ‘18. Each student spoke passionately about the importance of speaking out against gun violence and voting.

Johnson and Martinez joined together and simultaneously gave a speech to students on the bleachers and said, “This is a movement that will not die out because come this fall, the politicians who are not with us will be voted out. Enough is enough and we are the change that is coming…if you’re sitting in these bleachers and you can, please exercise your vote.”

The event ended with 17 minutes of silence for each victim. After each minute, a balloon was released into the sky. During the lunch period, LQHS’ ASB office was open so that students could write letters to local representatives concerning their opinions about gun control.

“Each student that spoke gave me hope for our world’s future,” said Dr. Wilson.