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      Never Again.

     That was the rallying cry for students who participated in the walkout Wednesay in remembrance of the 17 students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

     Student leaders planned this event, including several student speakers and a march around the school to show solidarity along with the rest of the students in country fighting gun violence.

       Senior Colton Tinsley was one of the speakers at the walkout and felt strongly about ending gun violence. As seen in the words on his poster: "Never Again. #MENEXT? Thoughts and Prayers are not enough." 

      Despite this, in his speech to fellow students, Tinsely emphasized the need for unity and compassion.

     “Today is about showing support and recognizing these tragedies. Today isn’t about being negative towards Trump, towards members of our congress, or towards the NRA,” Tinsley said.

    Speaker senior Sean Sullivan echoed this sentiment but added that students not only deserve to be heard but have a responsibility to speak out against gun violence in schools. 

     “Our message should not be focused on hate or placing blame, but rather on remembering the students we’ve lost and making change for future generations so that events like Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, and so many other schools around the country never happen again. I urge you all to never stop fighting for what you believe in, never let your voices be silenced, never let differences such as race, religion, sexual orientation, political views, or any other differences come between us. A house divided cannot stand, and this is our house,” Sullivan said.

     Along with "Never Again," some students highlighted the message that “Enough is Enough,” and demanded congress to take action against gun violence. Senior Christian Zeitvogel opened the protest with this message.

     “Too many times have we read the headlines of another school shooting. Too many times have we dedicated a moment of silence, and our thoughts and prayers to the victims of those impacted by these atrocities. It is time that we do more than offer our condolences. It is time our generation come together to stand up for our safety and our right to live and learn in a peaceful environment. If Congress will not provide for the common defense of schools, then we will take it upon ourselves to enact that change. Enough is enough,” Zeitvogel said.

     Senior Isabella Levitt was also one of the student leaders who helped plan the event and described what she saw as the most important part of the  the demonstration, especially since it  included over 900 students, 

     “It was about having students have a voice and letting them know that they don’t have to worry about being unsafe in school.  With all the shootings in schools lately, it’s hard to feel safe,” Levitt said. “By giving them a way to stand up and say ‘we’re not going to take this anymore’, was very important to me.”

 

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