CHS Students Walk for Action

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In light of the tragic Parkland shooting and the other shootings plaguing schools and neighborhoods nationwide, CHS students, decked in black clothing, united and led a school walkout on March 14, 2018 at 10 a.m. in central quad for 17 minutes, honoring each of the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. This walkout was proposed and planned by senior Maya Aga, along with senior Katherine Arboleda, and members of the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Black Student Union (BSU), Feminist Club, ASB, and Stand Up CHS. The planning process began when Aga and Clara Riggio emailed Dr. O’Connor. Aga met with Dr. O’Connor, along with superintendent James Elsasser, to create an outline of the walkout. The girls quickly organized together a team of motivated individuals to assist in executing the walkout and spread the word about the event. Information about the walkout was publicized via social media and posters around school. In addition, the organizers of the event contacted the Claremont Courier and the Daily Bulletin as well.
The goal of the walkout was to protest Congress’ lack of meaningful action toward keeping students safe in schools and raising awareness for this nationwide problem while honoring the victims of the recent school shooting in Florida. It is crucial to note that this is a bipartisan effort; despite polarizing discussion about gun control, each side of the argument agreed that students should feel as safe as possible in schools.
“Tweets are not enough,” Aga said. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need real action now. 17 people were just beginning their life. We are marching for Alyssa, Scott, Martin, Nick, Aaron, Jamie, Chris, Luke, Cara, Gina, Joaquin, Alaina, Meadow, Helena, Alex, Carmen, and Peter. We are marching to make sure this never happens again.”
Overall, the event was a success in uniting CHS students behind a common goal. The walkout began and ended with CHS choir students singing songs. Between the songs, numerous CHS student speakers shared their motivational thoughts to the audience. The audience, dressed in black, was made up of CHS students, local Claremont residents, members of the school board, teachers, administrators, and reporters from the Claremont Courier and Daily Bulletin.
Several students here at CHS have thoughts about the walkout.
“I think the walkout was a necessary action,” junior Elie Schwartz said. “It is not okay to feel unsafe at school, and we as students need to do whatever we can to help the shooting epidemic our country is facing.”
Another CHS student, junior Natalie Brown has reaffirmed Schwartz’s position.
“I believed the walkout is important because it allows us to remember every victim that has suffered from gun violence while also showing the nation how powerful we students truly are simply through unity. It is important that we stand together and support one another in this movement if we want to see change and want to feel safer in our own environment,” Brown said.
Without a doubt, the CHS walkout and the other walkouts that have occured nationwide have brought a great deal of attention to the crucial issue of gun violence plaguing schools and neighborhoods nationwide.

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