St. Lawrence Students Take Part in School Walkout 2018

(all opinions are author's own)

On March 14th 2018, one month after the Parkland shooting, students from all over the nation walked out of their classes for 17 minutes (symbolic of the 17 Parkland victims) at 10am across time zones to protest gun violence and commemorate the victims of the school shootings. St. Lawrence students were not the exception.

A large number of St. Lawrence students along with some professors braved the cold and snowy weather and walked out of their classes at 10:00 am to gather around the Quad and take part in the protest for gun legislation. In fact, some professors encouraged students to leave their classes and join the walkout, my professor being one of them.

The timeline consisted of an introduction speech, then students were handed a sheet with the name and age of a person whose life had been lost in a school shooting. Students recited the names of the victims and then all shared a moment of silence to commemorate them.  

Although, SLU’s walkout may seem to have an insignificant impact because of it being a small liberal arts school in the middle of Canton, NY,  it was part of a larger movement. Thousands of high school and college students participated in this movement, and have made the headlines of almost every important news source in the country.

This movement has been led by the youth, which shows not only the drive and involvement of our generation and the generations after us, but also the anxieties that have been created because of the countless tragedies that have occurred due to gun violence.  

Gun control is not a partisan issue but a moral one. We shouldn't have to teach children what to do under a school shooting, and we definitely should not militarize school institutions by arming teachers so that they could stop a school shooter; we should try to prevent this all together. Schools should be a place to learn about cool subjects and make friends, not a place to instill fear. And anyway, mass shootings don't only happen in schools, as we have witnessed over the years.

St. Lawrence students showed solidarity today, but there's still more that can be done. There will be an Action Plan meeting on April 2nd, 8pm in Sykes Commons. You can also contact your State Representatives and demand for gun legislation. Any small action can make a difference.

As citizens, we need to make our voices heard. Most of St. Lawrence students are already taking steps to ensure that their voices are.