Area students join tens of thousands in school walkouts news kokomotribune.com university of kansas housing rates

About 100 taylor HS student and 14 middle school students walk out at 10 a.M. On wednesday march 14, 2018 in honor of kids who were gunned down at marjory stoneman douglas high school in florida. Tim bath | kokomo tribune tim bath

A group of 14 taylor middle school students stood silently in a circle, outside in the cold, windy weather, hands joined and heads bowed, from approximately 10 a.M. To 10:17 a.M. Wednesday.

They represented a contingent of around 100 taylor school corporation students, just one of many schools locally – and nationally – to take part in a mass student walkout in protest of gun violence in schools ignited by the mass shooting in parkland, fla., one month prior.

“maybe something will happen … to me, I want to support the people in parkland, and just thinking of something happening here, it’s just something you don’t want to go through," he said. "I came out here just to stand with the students and the families in florida.”

douglas high

In what the associated press dubbed one of the largest student protests since the vietnam era, students in every state and spanning elementary to college students joined in protest in different ways. In some schools, students lined hallways – some kneeling – or occupied areas like gyms and auditoriums. Some wore orange, according to the associated press, the color used in the movement against gun violence.

Images saturated social media platforms of walkouts across the nation showing students reciting chants or holding signs condemning gun violence.

"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.Douglas high school

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman from secretary of state betsy devos said devos “gives a lot of credit to the students who are raising their voices and demanding change.”

About 100 taylor high school students and 14 middle school students participated in the nationwide school walk out at 10 a.M. On wednesday, march 14. Students stood outside for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 individuals who were gunned down at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida on feb. 14. Tim bath | kokomo tribune tim bath

“these kids think, in general, they are invincible at this stage in the game, but it brings to light that they’re not, and that’s kind of shocking for a teenager,” said patty haskett, a special education teacher at taylor high school.

She was referencing the valentine’s day shooting that sparked the protests, where 19-year-old nikolas cruz, armed with an AR-15, shot and killed students and staff at marjory stoneman douglas high school.Douglas high

The associated press reported that many students used their 17 minutes to rail against the national rifle association and advocate for school safety and stricter gun legislation. The NRA, throughout the day, posted on its twitter page messages advocating for school safety, lessened gun violence and upholding the second amendment. One image the NRA tweeted was of a rifle and a caption stating, “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”

“each understood when they came out what was expected of them – as part of their civil right to be able to protest, but there’s a way to do that. So, we tried to make it an educational setting for them as well, but also allow them to have their civil right to be able to do that,” she said.

With around 100 high schoolers and over a dozen middle schoolers gathering near the flagpole outside the school, some vehicles honked their support as they drove by.Douglas high

The high school group was, predominantly, chattering and laughing during the 17 minutes, which offended some of the middle schoolers before a teacher encouraged the entire group to quiet down for the final minute.

“they’re supposed to set the examples, I mean, we’re eighth-graders and they’re four grades above us at the most,” said mary morgan, a student at the middle school, a sentiment also expressed by her classmate, taylor schmitt. Schmitt said the way the other students acted during the walkout, “basically broke my heart. That’s extremely disrespectful … it could have been them.”

They two were part of a small, quiet circle that stood separately from the rest of the students. Quiet, soft words were said by one of the students during that time. When asked what was said, schmitt replied, “just remembering them, and thinking of the possibilities that were there for them in the future and knowing that’s not going to happen, because one person destroyed 17 great, amazing things.”

associated press

“they could have been future doctors or lawyers of psychiatrists. They could have helped people … they can’t anymore because their lives were sadly taken from them by force, and it’s sad, it’s really just sad. You’ve got to wonder, you’ve got to ask yourself, how many more lives have to be taken before we decide to do something about it? Before anyone decides to do something about it.”