By Ruby Garver (age 12) and Leila Duarte (age 14)
On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people, including teachers and students, and another 17 were greatly injured. In honor of the victims and survivors of the tragedy, some students at the Lighthouse School of Ojai walked through Ojai to protest gun violence. So many people in the community were incredibly supportive, honking and waving. Some even came up to us to say “Thank you.” According to Ruby, right now we need the support of our government so The United States of America can change for the better.
The students who participated made posters prior to the protest; all the posters were so amazingly artistic. Kids designed their signs with creative and powerful words like, “America needs to choose lives over guns!” They used the color orange on many posters, symbolizing their opposition to gun violence. These posters were used for both the Parkland March on March 14 and the Columbine Walk-Out today, April 20.
For the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, four students and two teachers from Lighthouse participated in the national walk-out, holding up their signs. Most people were supportive but others weren’t. While marching, people would honk, wave or give us a thumbs-up, but the students also had to encounter some teenagers shouting terms of disagreement, such as, “go back to school,” and “Pro-gun and proud.”
“It definitely made me feel sick, especially when he said we weren’t making a difference,” said a Lighthouse student, Sofia, when asked what she thought about the situation. But, not all of the kids share the same views, and they know not to be rude to others who disagree. Just before the walk-out, we all had a meeting with the teachers to explain that everyone can march for their own types of views. One of the students disagreed with the change of gun-laws, and didn’t march, but said he would keep the victims of shootings in his thoughts. Other students who marched had minor disagreements, but accepted each other and spoke their own opinions. Even though we aren’t all the same, we can still stand up for our views in peace.
Check out our Media Club’s video about gun violence here.
Parkland March 3/14/18
Parkland March 3/14/18
Columbine Walk-Out 4/20/18