David Mekeel: Did school officials ruin students' protest?

Posted March 17, 2018

I was quite pleased with them as individuals for standing up for what they believe in. We're going to have to live with whatever laws that the current lawmakers make today. If someone is determined to acquire one of these types of guns, there are ways to do it.

"We demand change whether that comes in the form of gun control laws, mental health counseling, school safety, or funding for education", Francis said. "These are weapons of war".

Vehicles passing Hillside School acknowledged the children who stood on the lawn, by honking or giving them a thumbs up.

Todd says for obvious reasons, some community members were not supportive of schools allowing students to participate in the walk-out. Last month, a Women's March co-chair, Tamika Mallory, boasted of her attendance at a rally by Louis Farrakhan where the Nation of Islam leader made the latest in a long string of anti-Semitic remarks.

The 17-minute protest began at 10 a.m.as students gathered in the courtyard of the high school in a demonstration of solidarity.

"Our students have taken that message that they don't have the voice and have responded by turning that message on their head and showing what the power of America's youth can be when they have the energy provided to them and directed", Limeburner said.

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"Through these extraordinarily hard times, I have been continually impressed by the level of intelligence, compassion and maturity of our students", he wrote.

Let me make something perfectly clear before I continue - I am not deriding local school officials.

Five students at Stagg High School were arrested and accused of fighting with an officer after leaving the campus, as well as taking his baton.

"We've lost innovators, inventors", he said. "We were all scared that everyone was being killed, because people were throwing desks to barricade and it sounded like gunshots", North Bend student Olivia Funk said. Those who did participate will not face any repercussions.

Elementary students did not participate in the activities, but a few high school students visited grade school classrooms and talked to students, "mainly just to show they're here and they care and that they support the staff", Schweitzer said. "We should be able to rely on each other. if there's something wrong, we should be able to support each other and be there for each other".

About 900 students from Sumter School District's three high schools chose to participate in National Walkout Day on Wednesday with peaceful demonstrations at each school.

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Parent Joseph Reed says he's discouraged by Wednesday's events.

The same day as Cruz's trial, students around the country organized a 17-minute walkout to protest gun violence in American schools.

As he read the names of the 17 students and staff from Florida who were killed, Reed said he became emotional thinking how so numerous names sounded similar to that of his classmates and friends at PHS.

The "National School Walkout" was meant to last for 17 minutes, one for each victim. Students Kathryn Staebler of Jamestown, Olivia Legault of East Greenwich, Cat Brownell of Middletown, Sara McCormick of Wakefield and Bella Bianco of Warwick spearheaded the effort. Even Broward School Superintendent Robert Runcie said, "I certainly don't encourage any student to be out of school, but you do have moments where they want to exercise their rights".

"Their voices are gone, so it's our time to shout", she said.

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