The Vista Voice

Why We Walk Out

The National Walkout, March 14, 2018.

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Why We Walk Out

Vista Student Body says

Vista Student Body says "Enough is Enough" during the Walkout.

Vista Student Body says "Enough is Enough" during the Walkout.

Vista Student Body says "Enough is Enough" during the Walkout.

Payton Lagomarsino, Staff Writer

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Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

This time it was students who took the different path of change. “We are the students, we are the victims, we are the change,”– wrote Lane Murdock, who is petitioning to end gun violence.

On March 14, 2018, Vista del Lago High School students and teachers joined the national walk out to protest against gun violence in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Students had the opportunity to walk out of class for 17 minutes, demanding stronger gun regulations to put an end to school shootings.

“There is power in organizing as a group; It makes a statement,” said senior Sophie Moore.

Students either from social and political clubs or individually at Vista proudly came out to support the walkout. They joined the national debate with signs and matching orange tee-shirts to protest for gun reform laws.

Many students believe that by walking out, change will occur. “People don’t listen to kids or teens, but they’re the victims of school shootings–,” said Senior Sophie Moore, Vista Feminista Club President. By participating in the national walkout, students used their voices to express their opinions on current politics, which is something that most teens are not given the opportunity to do.

Even some teachers are involved in the gun debate. Kelly Hillesland, an English teacher at Vista, runs a social media page to advocate for gun reform. She remembers when she first heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“It changed me forever,” Hillesland said. She recalls listening to the news on the radio and having to pull over because she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

“Unless we don’t make changes, this is going to keep on happening,” Hillesland said. She uses her teaching platform to make her students aware of their nations’ politics and to teach them what is happening.

Most students are walking out with national change in mind. “I want to feel safe when I go to school,” said freshman Sarah Hurley.

During the walkout, students congregated under the school awning due to rainy weather, but they didn’t let the rain stop them. Students crowded on top of tables with handwritten signs and proudly displayed their uniform outfits: orange t-shirts.

The participants of the rally gave a moment of silence for the students and teachers who have died in past school shootings. Students from the school progressive club read out the names of the 17 victims who died during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shootings.

The walkout lasted for 17 minutes in remembrance for the 17 students and teachers who passed away in Parkland, Florida. The walkout took place 1 month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting.

“It was empowering to be there and be amongst a group of people who are dedicated to seeing national change,” sophomore Sky Kezmoh said.

Voting pre-registration and club booths were also at the rally to give students a chance to get involved in political change at their school, community and across the country. Petitions were available at tables for students to sign from change.org, which demanded stronger gun regulations and more awareness of mental health issues.

Progress continues to happen across the country as more people speak out and involve themselves in politics. Change at Vista del Lago high school is nowhere near finished and students will continue to fight for what they believe in. Now, students and teachers await different results.

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