New York – ‘Enough Is Enough’: US Students Stage Walkouts Against Guns


    Washington, DC High School student Sara Durbin joins with other students walking out of classes to demand stricter gun laws outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S.,  March 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg New York – Declaring enough is enough, tens of thousands of young people from Maine to California walked out of school to demand action on gun violence Wednesday in one of the biggest student protests since the Vietnam era.

    Braving snow in New England and threats of school discipline in places like Georgia and Ohio, they carried signs with messages like “Am I Next?,” chanted slogans against the National Rifle Association and bowed their heads in memory of the 17 dead in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

    “We’re sick of it,” said Maxwell Nardi, a senior at Douglas S. Freeman High School in Henrico, Virginia, just outside Richmond. “We’re going to keep fighting, and we’re not going to stop until Congress finally makes resolute changes.”

    Around the nation, students left class at 10 a.m. local time for at least 17 minutes — one minute for each of the dead in Florida. At some schools, students didn’t go outside but lined the hallways, gathered in gyms and auditoriums or wore orange, the color used by the movement against gun violence, or maroon, the school color at Stoneman Douglas.

    Over and over, students declared that too many young people have died and that they are tired of going to school afraid of getting killed.

    “Enough is enough. People are done with being shot,” said Iris Foss-Ober, 18, a senior at Washburn High School in Minneapolis.

    Some schools applauded students for taking a stand or at least tolerated the walkouts, while others threatened punishment.

    Protesters called for such measures as tighter background checks on gun purchases and a ban on assault weapons like the one used in the Florida bloodbath.

    As the protests unfolded, the NRA responded by posting a photo on Twitter of a black rifle emblazoned with an American flag. The caption: “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

    Walkouts interrupted the day at schools from the elementary level through college, and at some that have witnessed their own mass shootings. About 250 students gathered on a soccer field at Colorado’s Columbine High School, while students who survived the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack in 2012 walked out of Newtown High School in Connecticut.

    In joining the protests, the students followed the example set by many of the survivors of the Florida shooting, who have become gun-control activists, leading rallies, lobbying legislators and giving TV interviews. Their efforts helped spur passage last week of a Florida law curbing access to assault rifles by young people.

    In Washington, more than 2,000 high-school age protesters observed the 17 minutes of silence by sitting on the ground with their backs turned to the White House as a church bell tolled. President Donald Trump was in Los Angeles at the time.

    The protesters carried signs with messages such as “Our Blood/Your Hands” and “Never Again” and chanted slogans against the NRA.

    In New York City, they chanted, “Enough is enough!” In Salt Lake City, the signs read, “Protect kids not guns,” ”Fear has no place in school” and “Am I next?”

    Stoneman Douglas High senior David Hogg, who has emerged as one of the leading student activists, livestreamed the walkout at the tragedy-stricken school on his YouTube channel.

    He said the students could not be expected to remain in class when there was work to do to prevent gun violence.

    “Every one of these individuals could have died that day. I could have died that day,” he said.

    At Aztec High School in a rural, gun-friendly part of New Mexico, students aimed to avoid politics and opted for a ceremony honoring students killed in shootings — including two who died in a December attack at Aztec.

    “Our kids sit on both ends of the spectrum, and we have a diverse community when it comes to gun rights and gun control,” Principal Warman Hall said.

    About 10 students left Ohio’s West Liberty-Salem High School — which witnessed a shooting last year — despite a warning they could face detention or more serious discipline.

    Police in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta patrolled Kell High, where students were threatened with unspecified consequences if they participated. Three students walked out anyway.

    The coordinated protests were organized by Empower, the youth wing of the Women’s March, which brought thousands to Washington last year.

    Congress has shown little inclination to tighten gun laws, and Trump backed away from his initial support for raising the minimum age for buying an assault rifle to 21.

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had no immediate public comment on the walkout.

    Historians said the demonstrations were shaping up to be one of the largest youth protests in decades.

    “It seems like it’s going to be the biggest youth-oriented and youth-organized protest movements going back decades, to the early ’70s at least,” said David Farber a history professor at the University of Kansas who has studied social change movements.

    “Young people are that social media generation, and it’s easy to mobilize them in a way that it probably hadn’t been even 10 years ago.”

    The walkouts drew support from companies such as media conglomerate Viacom, which paused programming on MTV, BET and its other networks for 17 minutes during the walkouts.

    Other protests planned in coming weeks include the March for Our Lives rally, which organizers say is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital on March 24.

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    1. Kids don’t know anything.
      Since when do we listen to what kids want.
      These poor little kids are being used by liberals as pawns.
      Liberals are a disgrace!

    2. Andrew Pollack, the father whose daughter Meadow was murdered at the Portland school shooting, had a sensible solution for protecting our school children.
      Mr. Pollack pointed out that airports, concerts, stadiums, embassies, even the Department of Education, are protected by security guards and have security checks of everybody who wants to enter – why haven’t we likewise been protecting our schools?

    3. This is pathetic. There are reports that CNN and the Dems are paying for and encouraging these protests….and the kids are being used like pawns. With all due respect, teenagers are not going to legislate laws nor are they mature enough….

    4. I have been at protests when Koch and his bandits nearly destroyed the NYC education system with egregious budget cuts, the cuts went through anyway. I have been at protests when the Soviets were keeping sausage makers in prison because they had knowledge that threatened security. I have been to protests where menuvalim having been lauded and feted by $$$$ are laughing, publicly, in the faces of those they have hurt. It isn’t age, race, or education that makes these protests ineffective, it’s $$$$. Protesters don’t have $$$$, nothing will come of the protests. Voting is ineffective as the machines make the choices for you. And for those that say kids don’t know anything, woe to all of us as these kids will be “educated” by adults who don’t do anything.

      • Koch and his bandits nearly destroyed the NYC education system with egregious budget cuts,

        They should have cut more. The school system is broken and mismanaged and loaded with waste. Your comment is fake news. (I”ll leave aside the fact that NYC almost declared bankruptcy pre Koch and Koch had to cut and bring fiscal responsibility. We could thank the askan Abe Biderman who wroked for Koch and got the city in fiscal order)

    5. These protests should have started in 1999, after Columbine; if people have to go through h—, to board a commercial aircraft, why is it so easy, to gain access to a public school? There must be armed guards, metal detectors, and other security measures at every elementary, middle, and high school in the USA. Likewise, Jewish institutions have adopted security measures. However, many Shuls don’t do much about security. Either they can’t afford to hire guards, or they are very complacent.

    6. The reason the kids are protesting is because the grown ups are not doing anything about security etc. They’re just fighting pro/con gun control.The very thought that our president is saying that the teachers should be armed is absurd–what would a crazed student or another teacher if he/she knew that the teacher had a gun and went for it. This all being said, I wish the kids would go after the bullies with the same vengeance. I believe that most of the people doing this kind of killing are acting out embarrassment and hatred against the schools that allowed taunting and bullying. We aren’t talking about only physical and mental bullying–I’m talking about cyber bullying as well. It’s just as rampant. Hashem Yishmor–This has to be Ikvisah d’Mashicha–it’s all so crazy.

      • The very thought that our president is saying that the teachers should be armed is absurd–what would a crazed student or another teacher if he/she knew that the teacher had a gun and went for it.

        I don’t get your argument . Please elaborate. The way I see it if teachers are armed then mass shooters won’t shoot and if they do shoot they will be shot dead before they can wreck havoc. Isn’t that the idea behind any security guard? Why not arm teachers? At the same time perhaps we should ban guns for recreational purposes etc… Lets do both , arm teachers and ban guns.

        You are correct about bullying. But at the same time children need to be taught not to allow themselves to get so bullied. They need to stop being pampered. As a parent i can tell you, that my kids who are whimps by nature, and often bullied there are times where its wiser to let them stick it out. Kids need to learn how to fight for themsleves without getting bent out of shape too. Yes we need to stop bullying but also stop pampering.

    7. the reason these kids are protesting is because there teacher and or principal has riled them up to push their own agenda. there opportunists who are using mass easily influenced kids to hammer their sentiments through.

      the kids are using this as an excuse to skip school.


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