The Beacon

Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

A+student+holding+a+sign+during+the+protest%3B+%22How+many+more+must+die+for+there+to+be+change%3F%22.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

A student holding a sign during the protest;

A student holding a sign during the protest; "How many more must die for there to be change?".

Tony Vue

A student holding a sign during the protest; "How many more must die for there to be change?".

Tony Vue

Tony Vue

A student holding a sign during the protest; "How many more must die for there to be change?".

Lori Vang, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Concerned students all over the country, including many Harding students, stood outside in various locations for 17 minutes on March 14 — one minute for each of the 17 people who died Feb. 14 in a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There were other walkouts between the shooting and the one-month anniversary of the shooting, but this one seemed to catch the nation’s attention. At Harding, everyone had a choice to stay in class or to go outside and stand for 17 minutes.

The nationwide walkout was planned to demand control on guns. “We want to bring awareness to gun violence and how many people it’s killing,” said Diamond Stewart, a senior who helped plan the event. “To try to end it — we may not end it, but we’re trying. And it’s all that matters.” Students who participated wanted to show that they are not afraid to fight for gun control. “Like Cruz… He was on the FBI watch list,” said Kyle, another senior involved in planning the walkout. “Because he had done some pretty shady things. He’d been kicked out of school for violence. He was on the watch list. He bought a gun. And the FBI never — I don’t know if they didn’t know that or they just never checked up on him. I don’t know. But somebody didn’t do their job to prevent 17 innocent people from dying. You know? And that’s my purpose of saying change gun rules. It’s the police’s job to protect the people and they’re not doing their job the way that they should.”

As students and teachers stood outside of Harding High School, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joined along shouting, “Books not bullets!” Plenty of students said they went just to ditch. Some students said they joined only because they wanted to be on the news. “Where’s the helicopters?” some were asking. Other students didn’t even know why they joined. “It’s so cold, I want to go back inside,” several students said. A student who attends Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis declined joining the walkout. The student said, “I didn’t want to join because most of the people out there were apathetic.”

Gun control doesn’t only involve shootings in school. The goal is to prevent shootings in public. “I feel like it shouldn’t happen,” Diamond said. “Gun violence shouldn’t happen in school or outside of school. There are other ways to solve your issues besides violence.” One big shooting that happened recently was in Las Vegas, Nevada on Oct. 1, 2017. The shooter killed 58 people before he killed himself. The shooter fired openly, shooting at thousands of people on the Vegas strip after a concert.

One of the first major school shootings occurred at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Two teens appeared on the school grounds on April 20, 1999, killing 13 people and wounding 20. “When the Columbine shooting happened, I was in college,” Mrs. Raven, English teacher, said. “I had declared my major and it was the first mass school shooting… My mom called and said, ‘Angela, I don’t want you to be a teacher.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh, mom.’ Like, I’m not gonna not become a teacher just because of one school shooting.”For many, this shooting was one of the most terrifying school massacres in U.S. history. It led to a nationwide debate on the gun control. Many also questioned whether if students even felt safe in school, seeing all these events. It put fear in people 20 years ago and it still puts fear in many today. “Time and time again, we have seen horrific events like school shootings in Parkland,” said Abby Mund, a social studies teacher, who helped students organize the walkout. “You know… when I was a kid, it was Columbine. I was in middle school when the shooting at Columbine happened. So it’s been happening since I’ve been in school as well.”

While many people want to take action, not everyone agrees on what actions are best. Some people have been wondering if teachers should carry guns. “Having guns in classrooms? No,” Kyle said. “I actually just read one of my friend’s Facebook posts and she had said something like, ‘They wanna give teachers guns? Hell no. In sixth grade, a teacher threw a textbook at me. I’m not trusting him with a gun.’”

Should teachers be armed with guns? Many teachers have said that they feel like it’s unnecessary. “Personally, I would not be comfortable with that,” Ms. Mund said. “On a personal level, I don’t want a gun. I don’t know that more guns means more protection. I don’t think there’s enough research that’s been done to show us that more guns means students are better protected. And I don’t want school to feel like a prison. I don’t want teachers to feel like armed guards.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    All-gender bathrooms in Harding: is it a good idea?

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    Buck family feels lucky to survive a crash

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    Football player headed to Southwest

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    Vandalism becoming a problem at Harding

  • Features

    Youth Take Lead in School Community

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    Q&A: Molly Keenan wins Minnesota Council Social Studies Teacher of the Year

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    The controversy of kneeling to the pledge of allegiance

  • Features

    New Car to Noah

  • Features

    Possible Malaria Vaccine

  • Harding students walk out to protest gun violence

    Features

    Small Engines Class is ready to Tackle your Lawnmowers!

Navigate Right
The student news site of Harding High School
Harding students walk out to protest gun violence