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Students participate in peaceful demonstrations to honor Parkland, Florida shooting victims

Students participate in peaceful demonstrations to honor Parkland, Florida shooting victims
Posted on 03/15/2018

Students Demonstrating

Thousands of students at schools throughout San Diego Unified School District joined students nationwide in stepping out of their classrooms to honor the 17 individuals killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida in February.

Students participated in a variety of activities as part of the "Enough! National School Walkout" national movement to take action around gun violence.

At Point Loma High School, more than 400 students gathered in the school's stadium for a student-led rally to address issues of gun violence, bullying, and empowerment. Several students addressed the crowd, one laid blame squarely at the feet of elected lawmakers, asking his peers, "How many more Parklands need to happen?"

In addition to calling out lawmakers, several Point Loma High students took the opportunity to call out bullying and the role it plays in school violence.

"We are to blame too, because it's so easy to offer kindness and friendship to each other, but we don't," said one speaker. "When you see that person, who looks all alone, seek them out. Take the time to talk to them and get to know them."

For many, this movement was an opportunity to speak out about gun violence and demand change.

"We want to use our voice to make change happen," said one Point Loma High student. "All these shootings, all these deaths in schools and parents losing their children, we need more than thoughts and prayers."

Standley Middle School eighth-grader Zachary Patterson echoed those statements at the event he organized for students at his school.

"Politicians have sent their condolences and said they'll try their best, but that's not enough. Trying your best will not solve this problem," Patterson said.

Along with Patterson, more than 300 students gathered on the school lawn to honor the 17 victims and demand an end to gun violence. Biographies of the 17 victims were draped on nearby trees and work stations were set up for students to write to their elected officials or to the victims' families. Student speakers asked lawmakers to take action in limiting sales of particular guns and encouraged students to write to their elected officials.

At Patrick Henry High, more than 300 students gathered in the school's quad to hold a moment of silence, voice their opinions on gun violence and demand action.

Please see the district's Twitter feed for highlights of all the day's activities. @sdschools