OHS students walk out a month after Florida shooting

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OHS students walk out a month after Florida shooting

junior Carolyn Fritz reads junior Isabel Bergerson's speech at the head of the protest group

junior Carolyn Fritz reads junior Isabel Bergerson's speech at the head of the protest group

Zach Adams

junior Carolyn Fritz reads junior Isabel Bergerson's speech at the head of the protest group

Zach Adams

Zach Adams

junior Carolyn Fritz reads junior Isabel Bergerson's speech at the head of the protest group

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On March 14, a month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, more than 3,000 student-led walkouts were planned across America, according to the Associated Press. OHS students, led by the Students Against Gun Violence club, participated as well, to remember the victims and protest gun violence, the lack of strict gun control and the government’s response to the nationwide debate. The walk-out lasted from 10 a.m. to 10:17 a.m., each minute honoring a life lost at the Florida shooting.

A mass of middle school and high school students, dressed in black, marched out of classrooms to meet at the flag. Junior Carolyn Fritz, who stood on a box at the front of the crowd, estimated that over 100 students attended. She said that the group stretched from the front doors of the high school to partially down the front sidewalk.

“To make sure nothing like that happens again,” sixth grader Lila James said, explaining why she marched, “There should be no more gun violence.”

Junior Gabriella Bann, a leader of the Students Against Gun Violence club, helped direct students. Fritz then started off the walk-out by reading a speech written by Isabel Bergerson, another leader of the Students Against Gun Violence club.

“Today, we need to remember the lives that were lost on February 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School … I hope I am speaking for us all when I say this—we do not want their deaths to become yet another statistic chalked up as something that just ‘happens,’” Fritz said, reading off of Bergerson’s script, “We demand that our safety be protected under the laws that our government makes, so that we may have the freedom to study, the freedom to work, the freedom to feel undoubtedly safe, and freedom to live as students and teachers in this country. It’s time for us to collectively say ‘Not one more.’”

“Not one more” became a refrain, shouted out by the crowd during the following segment of the walk-out. As various students took the microphone, one by one, they paid tribute to each victim, sharing their names and stories, the lives they lived and how they died. After each life was shared with the crowd, the protesters chanted in unison, “Not one more.”

Minutes of silence followed, to honor and mourn the 17 victims. Junior Zach Adams led a chant, shouted out in other schools across the nation, that set off a chain of “Hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go.” At 10:17, students returned back to class.

I decided to walk just because I felt that the many lives that have been lost so far needed more representation, and they needed to have someone to stand up for them”

— senior Lainie Henderson

“I decided to walk just because I felt that the many lives that have been lost so far needed more representation, and they needed to have someone to stand up for them,” senior Lainie Henderson said.

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