The voices of the walkout

Speakers at the walkout showcase some of the various perspectives of the students who participated.


Aiden Owen

A sign saying “Not One More!!!” is held up amongst the crowd.

Blake LaVanchy , Content Editor

This last Wednesday on March 14, the anniversary of the Parkland shooting, upwards of 100 people walked out on Mead High School to memorialize the 17 killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and for some, to protest national gun laws and the lack of legislation passed in response to school shootings.

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  • Tyler Prigmore, Mikayla Boldt, and Martha McCullogh hold signs protesting against school shootings.

  • The organizers of the walk out will wear orange ribbons for the rest of the week for easy identification.

  • Keena Ball, the event speaker, holds silence during another student’s story of how the shooting affected them.

  • A sign saying “Not One More!!!” is held up amongst the crowd.

  • The peace sign, originally designed in 1958, is held up by a participant at Wednesday’s event.

  • Students begin to assemble outside.

  • Keena Ball stands on a ledge as she speaks to the crowd of people.

  • Senior Keena Ball uses her megaphone to address the crowd.

  • A student addresses the gathered crowd explaining her participation in the event.

  • Students gathered outside Mead High School on Wednesday morning, participating in the walk out

  • Students discuss issues

  • Students join together to sing “Imagine” by John Lennon

  • Junior Maddo Adams protests school shootings

  • students show their stance on political matters

  • Students gather to listen to others speak out against violence

  • Students carry signs to express themselves.

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The walkout began with 17 seconds of silence for those killed in the shooting led by Senior Keena Ball, followed by a brief speech. “We are here today because people are not taking the action they should be to keep us protected and safe,” she said.

Joshua Booth and Hannah Wojahn then led the crowd in singing the song “Imagine” by John Lennon because the organizers felt that it “portray[ed] best what we think.”  

The organizers also handed out notecards and encouraged participants to write a message to a representative, which they told students they would collect throughout the week and then deliver.

Some also placed shoes at the front of the school in connection with the protest at Washington D.C. in which students placed 7,000 shoes in the front of the capitol building to memorialize the number of children who have died from gun violence since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in 2012.

The rest of the time was designated for anyone to speak in front of the crowd, because according to Keena Ball, “this [was] a time for discussion as well as action.”

The first to speak was freshman Madison Hadley. She spoke about the importance of standing up to violence in schools. “Violence is everywhere and it’s going to continue to be everywhere unless we do something.”

Next was Jackie Buchanan who addressed lack of empathy and the tragic consequences it can have. “It is time to show kindness so people have kindness and they won’t act upon their hatred,” she told the crowd.

Skylar Studholme, a junior, said “this is amazing that we’re gathered like this as youth, but if you are eighteen you can take more action than those of us who aren’t yet: you can vote, all of us can call our congressmen — just take action. Because, while this is a huge step getting everyone together like this, individually you can do so much as well.” The organizers of the event included in the printed brochures the steps to register to vote.

Britta Stearns, a freshman, spoke next spoke briefly on school safety and the importance of feeling safe at your own school. “When I go to school I want to be safe, when I go anywhere I want to be safe and that’s kinda why I’m out here.”

Shakirra Stone, a freshman, spoke on gun violence. “All I want to say is we truly do want to be safe at our school, and you are not a thug if you use a gun. It is not cool, it is hurtful. I’ve lost people to school shootings and it is not fun to go to their funeral. It hurts. And we want to be safe. So please do not think you are cool when you use a gun.”

Junior Hannah Wojahn, shared a personal story about her family’s connection to a first responder who was on duty the day of the shooting at Columbine High School and how her Dad worked with many students at Columbine that year it happened.

“One of the things that is really cool about walking out, is [that] I think that we can all understand it happens in other places. Like it happened it Florida, which is far away, but the first major one happened here in Colorado.”

She also spoke about the impact the Columbine shooting had on Colorado. “One of the things [that my dad] described is that Denver and the whole Denver Metro area was completely silent.”

She summed it up by saying “13 died 19 years ago and 17 died just a couple months ago so we need to make it stop.”

The last to speak was Chandler Isom, a senior, spoke on the bipartisan nature of the issue of school shootings, saying, “No matter what side your on politically, left or right, I think we can all agree that these tragedies do really need to stop. So no matter what you think should be done to stop them I think we can all agree they need to stop.”