Students vocalize their concerns for school safety

Marches and walkouts demand drastic nationwide change


Emily Levine

Many Schreiber students marched in Washington, D.C for the March For Our Lives demonstration. The march for gun control took place on March 24.

Emily Levine, Staff Writer

“Change is coming!” seems to be an expression circulating among media. And they’re not talking about change coming from adult politicians in local, state, or federal governments.  No, it’s change coming from students.

The recent shooting in Parkland, Florida has acted as a major catalyst for change and has resulted in many students getting more politically involved. 

From school walkouts to the national March For Our Lives rallies, students have been coming together all over the nation, and even the world, to put an end to this controversial fight. 

After the tragic school shooting in Parkland, the students of Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School organized together a national walkout event.  For this walkout, students abandoned their classrooms at 10 a.m. and marched outside to honor the seventeen students and teachers who had lost their lives on Feb. 14.

At Schreiber, seniors Danie DiRuggiero, Eve Harari, Laila Kramer, and Amanda Krantz organized an outside walkout, including a seventeen-minute memoriam for the students and teachers of Parkland.  The Weber students and faculty also attended at the Schreiber circle to pay their respects.  

Some high schools in New York City, Michigan, California and Florida took their walk out to the local government buildings.  These schools particularly emphasized the demand for immediate change.  

“I thought the walkout was an amazing demonstration of unity for change.  However, I thought we should have had the opportunity to express our opinions and speak about the subject,” said sophomore Ella Penson. 

In addition to the nationwide school walkout, the March For Our Lives organization arranged a protest in Washington D.C.  The organization encouraged all people, no matter their age or political orientation, to march in order to bring attention to the issue. 

In Washington D.C. alone, approximately 200,000 people attended the march.  Many protesters found this fitting because they brought their issue to the place where decisions can really be made: our nation’s capital. 

“The March for Our Lives in DC was an unforgettable experience. It was heartwarming to see millions come together about an issue that affects our lives daily,” said sophomore Ali Carvajal, who participated in the D.C. rally. “Seeing victims of gun violence speak up and try to make a change was so powerful, and I truly admire their strength. I hope that our generation continues to stand strong and fight for what we believe in, not letting anyone or anything get in the way”.

Many celebrities came to the march to show support and even performed, including Andra Day and Common, who opened the ceremony together with their uplifting song, “Rise Up.”

Also in attendance were Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Miley Cyrus—who performed “The Climb”—Ben Platt and Lin Manuel Miranda—who sang their duet “Found/Tonight”—and finally, Vic Mensa. 

The event also featured multiple survivors of school shootings who came out on stage to share their experiences and pleas for change.  One of Parkland’s survivors who spoke at the rally in D.C., was Emma Gonzalez.  Her poignant speech consisted of her speaking for two minutes as well as six minutes and twenty seconds of silence, representing the entire duration of the shooting at her high school.

In addition to the Parkland survivors, many students who live in gun-prevalent communities took the stage.  Naomi Wadler, at just 11 years old, inspired the crowd and further established the idea that kids are capable of paving the way towards gun reform.

Those in the New York area who could not make it to Washington D.C. did not shy away from protesting, and many Port residents attended the rally in New York City.  With around 175,000 protesters flashing colorful signs and chanting slogans, NYC marchers were not afraid to use their voices and demand change.

The city’s March For Our Lives rally was reported to have been more like a march, as the crowds walked from Chelsea to Central Park, whereas in D.C., people stood in their places in front of the Capitol Building.  

Many celebrities showed their support in NYC as well.  Among the crowd was former Beatle Paul McCartney, who walked in honor of his bandmate, John Lennon, who had lost his life due to gun violence.  A handful of Schreiber students were able to participate in the march, including senior Victoria Langro.  

“Once I heard that the march was happening, I knew that it was something that I needed to attend.  The march provided me with an opportunity to actually take action to better our country and it is extremely fulfilling to be a part of the next generation of change,” said Langro.

However, the rallies were not limited to big cities like NYC, DCLA or Philadelphia.  Port Washington hosted a march in town to honor those who have suffered from gun violence and as well promote reform.

This march consisted of town residents who walked from Main Street to the Port Washington Methodist Church.  At the church, students and active residents spoke about the purpose of the event and what they hoped to achieve.

One student described the event as being “a huge turnout and it was extremely inspiring to see so many kids and adults marching for our lives.  The service afterwards was beautiful and the students’ speeches were moving.  I was so glad our town held a local event to push for change,” said sophomore Jordan Krainin. 

Following the March for Our Lives events, there was another nationwide school walkout.  On April 20th, around 15 Schreiber students put aside the threats of detention in order to demand change. 

Although our administration intended on using detention to try and keep students safe during school hours, some decided to protest anyway.

These events, set in motion by the young minds of America, truly made an impact on a local, national and even international level.  It is obvious that the people want change, but when will they see it happen? 

What we do know is that the fight for a safer society and push for gun reform is far from over.  The young adults at the head of this movement are more than ready to take down any barrier in order to reach their goal and not only create a safer nation, but a safer world.