Upcoming walkouts and protests: what do our students think?

Students from Mead High react to issues raised as a result of the recent Parkland shooting

Students protest from several Fort Collins schools on Tuesday, February 27.

Timothy Hurst/ The Coloradoan

Students protest from several Fort Collins schools on Tuesday, February 27.

Conner Henman, Broadcaster

On March 14th and April 20th many students at Mead High School will be participating in walkouts to protest gun laws and the lack of response to recent school shootings.

The first walkout, March 14th, will be from 10 AM and will last until 10:17 AM with each minute of the walkout representing remembrance for each victim of the recent Parkland.

The second walkout, April 20th, is in remembrance of the Columbine shooting, which will also start at 10 AM, but will last the whole school day.

Here at Mead, there are many mixed emotions on the walkouts, I sat down to talk with a few students to see what they had to say.

Senior Michael Silbernagel said  “I don’t think it’s a matter that high school students should be taking into their own hands, I get that they’re wanting to raise awareness, but there’s other ways: Writing to your senator, or your representative in your state.”

“If there are a lot of student that walk out, it’s not because they’re protesting, it’s just an excuse to leave,” said Silbernagel.

And he’s not the only one. Israel Contreras, also a senior, is quoted saying “Looking at it from an outside perspective, I can see and hear opinions from other students who are going to walk out, and more than half of them that I have talked to have said it’s just to leave school, and get away from education for a bit.”

John Edwards, a senior as well, asked, “What’s a walk-out going to do?”

Makinsey Hamblin, a sophomore, isn’t sure if she’s going to participate.

“To be honest I’m not sure, I definitely considered it because I believe there are actions that need to be taken to make schools safer, but I also value my education, and I’m not sure that it’s worth giving up time in the classroom to express my political beliefs.”

Other students at Mead are very passionate in favor of the walkouts, like junior Maddo Adams.

I asked her if she will be participating in the walkouts. “Yes, because I believe no gun is worth a kids life; unless you think more school shootings should happen, why wouldn’t you?”

Another question I asked the students was whether or not they think teachers should be armed.

“I don’t really support teachers having guns, maybe more like the administration” Silbernagel said.

Kira Schott, a sophomore, is emphatically against arming teachers, she expressed “I don’t think that solving the gun problems is going to be solved with more guns.”

“I think giving teachers the option to arm themselves would be a very good opportunity for the school and I believe that there are capable teachers who would be willing to carry a firearm to protect our students” Contreras added.

District policy allows students to walk-out. There will also be police officers stationed at the school on March 14 and April 20 to protect student protesters.