Highland High School Walk Out

Students protest gun violence in schools by walking out of class.

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Highland High School Walk Out

Photo by Maddie Fell

Photo by Maddie Fell

Photo by Maddie Fell

Maddie Fell, Staff

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On February 21, 2018, at noon, many students walked out of class at Highland High School in Gilbert, AZ.  Students met in Hawk Hall and walked out to the football field.  Once everyone was gathered, there were students with posters stating phrases like “Let’s Be the Generation to End Gun Violence! Generation Z” and “No More Silence End Gun Violence” carried by Nicole King and Marina Dear, both freshmen while other students took a knee in silence.  

“A lot of people died.  We need more gun control and most of the time, students just don’t feel safe going to school.”  freshman Eileen Valdez said. It was quiet on the field and everyone was in a big group standing close together.  At the end, students made a circle and held hands, small groups yelling “No more silence, end gun violence.”

“I went because I think students should feel safe at school and out of respect for the students that died.” said Caitlyn Gonzalez, freshmen.  An estimate of 200 or more students attended the peaceful protest.  The walkout lasted a little over 17 minutes, one minute for every victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shooting on February 14.

Photos by Maddie Fell and Gabricia Ramos

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20 Responses to “Highland High School Walk Out”

  1. Victoria Notch on February 21st, 2018 5:07 PM

    no scrap of metal will ever be worth more than or equal to the life of anyone. we need gun reform now. #neveragain

  2. Wesley Olson on February 22nd, 2018 9:36 AM

    Arm our teachers then! These hunks of metal can be used to protect students from the maniacs that want to harm us!

  3. ? on February 22nd, 2018 11:25 AM

    Some trained sharp shooters fail to shoot a school shooter because of the type of situation they are on let alone giving are teachers having guns they are not trained to use then and what will happen if a student got a hold of the gun.

  4. Andrew Allen on February 22nd, 2018 5:40 PM

    Sure people fail to be accurate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t scare someone away. The shooter was insane. He likely wouldn’t have known that the teacher “wouldn’t be accurate”

  5. christian on February 22nd, 2018 9:46 PM

    thats why you train them and put the guns in guns safes, thats what they are for.

  6. Nate Smith on April 3rd, 2018 9:11 AM

    Why not train the teachers so they ARE accurate then we wont have a problem with accuarcy.

  7. Proud MAGA Club Member on February 22nd, 2018 4:22 PM

    What if we gave teachers guns AND training? President Trump proposes giving guns to “adept teachers with military or special training experience”, shouldn’t we as students be protected form those who want to cause us harm? Yes there are concerns but the potential benefits far outweigh them. Protect our students, Protect our Schools, and Protect our Second Amendment rights!

  8. heyo on March 21st, 2018 9:52 AM

    President Trump actually recently proposed stronger gun legislation. I’m glad he finally grew a heart.

  9. henlo frand on February 22nd, 2018 5:35 PM

    I see where some people come from with that. But logically, I don’t believe it would work. As said before, students could easily get their hands on the guns, and who knows if the teachers would be able to keep a calm mind and handle the extreme stress of a school shooting.

    I would like to add that students would feel even MORE unsafe with teachers holding guns. It just creates an environment of paranoia and violence. Also, who in their right mind would become a teacher then? They already have incredibly low salaries, job security, and alarmingly high work-loads and stress levels. They grade and plan lessons at home, and teach loud, mean kids at work. It’s a terrible idea to further their work load and stress by requiring them to carry guns and go to professional training for several hours.

    All we want is to strengthen background checks, and perhaps restrict certain types of guns. (Who needs an assault rifle for self-defense?) We’ve tried no gun control; it’s been 19 years since the original debate was sparked. Why not try something new?

  10. Anonymous on February 22nd, 2018 8:17 PM

    Many people have suggested this, but is arming teachers the best solution we have? Teachers are amazing of course but just like everyone else they can lash out at times. Would you feel safe if your teacher had a gun concealed at their hip everyday ? Isn’t the point to make guns less accessabile? If every teacher has one there’s numerous risks involved what if a student stole their gun, there will be not a downturn of gun violence but likely an increase. Teachers are there to teach and many don’t want the responsibility and liability of protecting with a gun on a everyday basis. When bullets are flying most people freeze and regardless of the training people’s responses in life and death situations are unknown. According to an FBI study police officers who engaged into shooting/ live gunfire were wounded or killed in about 47% of the incidents. Police officers train for hours and we want to hand average teachers guns? There are to many risks with this proposed solution.

  11. Wesley Olson on February 23rd, 2018 7:39 AM

    Again its not a requirement for teachers. Lets give those who want the opportunity to protect their students proper training that officers are willing to give. In New Mexico, one school allows their teachers the opportunity to conceal carry guns and all their students know it. Every student at that school feels SAFER with knowing that many teachers at their school have a gun. If a school shooter were stupid enough to go into that school he would be stopped immediately. Again, with teachers having guns on that campus, the chance for a school shooter to target that school is very unlikely. And if you’re worried about a certain teacher having a gun speak up about it. And students should realize if they try to attain a teachers gun then they would be stopped if their intentions were to harm their peers.

  12. anonymous on February 22nd, 2018 11:26 AM

    Some trained sharp shooters fail to shoot a school shooter because of the type of situation they are on, let alone giving our teachers guns they are not trained to use then and what will happen if a student got a hold of the gun.

  13. Wesley Olson on February 22nd, 2018 4:49 PM

    Were not saying to give teachers guns untrained, that would be ridiculous @anonymous. Richard K Jones, an ohio sheriff from Butler county offered 50 spots to train teachers for conceal carry permits and what to do in situations if a school shooter were to come onto campus. The spots filled in 20 minutes. Many teachers care about their students and want to protect them. If we did this in every county in the country and offered it to teachers everywhere school shooters would be a lot less enthusiastic about shooting up a school.

  14. Wesley Olson on February 22nd, 2018 4:52 PM

    I would love to continue this discussion with you in person if you are willing, and talk about both sides of the argument. Let me know!

  15. Brooke McClure on February 22nd, 2018 1:13 PM

    They are not saying to take away guns. They are trying to make the background checks more extensive so that you can’t just give a gun to someone who is a threat to society. We are trying to stop the heartless murdering of innocent children.

  16. Wesley Olson on February 22nd, 2018 4:58 PM

    I totally agree background checks need to be strengthened, and that these shootings need to end. It all starts with how we treat others. People knew about Nick Cruz’s downward spiral but no one did anything about it! I believe if someone had reached out to him and had been a real friend to him this shooting wouldve never happened. Id love to talk about this in person if you want to discuss some more! Let me know!

  17. Brooke McClure on February 25th, 2018 9:51 PM

    I would definitley be down to discuss this with you, I think this is something that needs to happen to help stop innocent people and children from being killed.

  18. The Truth on February 22nd, 2018 1:42 PM

    Did you know that zones with the strictest gun control laws are the ones with the highest homicide rates? Some examples are Chicago and Detroit, which are both democratic.


  19. Wesley Olson on February 22nd, 2018 4:51 PM

    I agree. I stand with removing gun free zones. It only makes a target for those desiring to shoot up a school, and takes away the opportunity for someone to be able to protect others.

  20. John Jiler on December 9th, 2018 8:21 AM

    Dear High School Journalist;
    Autumn is deepening, and seniors are thinking harder and harder about their next step. For many of us, your generation is the hope of the future. The Parkland high school shootings galvanized young people across the nation to passionately advocate for common sense gun laws. Now, as your attention turns to college, we want to turn our admiration into action.
    With the help of the Brady Center, the new Gabby Giffords consortium, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, we’ve reached out to high school journalists across the country with our list of the NOTORIOUS NINETEEN—the states with dangerous, inadequate gun laws. Many of them condone the open carry of weapons on college campuses; others simply turn a blind eye to the potential for gun violence in their state. Our mission has been to make these places known to high school seniors, who we’re encouraging NOT to apply to college in…
    Sadly, your state is on this list. You’re no doubt very proud of the place you live, and you should be. But the gun violence epidemic in this country has taken too many lives, and things must change. You can be part of that change, by encouraging your elected officials and your families and your friends to think about some serious questions. Should teenagers be able to order AR-15s through the mail? Should people with a history of mental illness be allowed easy access to guns? If you feel the answer to these questions is “no,” we all have a lot of work to do!
    Thank you for considering the publication of this letter in your newspaper. Good luck with your own decision about college, and have a safe and prosperous senior year!
    John Jiler,
    Committee for Scholastic Action On Guns

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