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Galt students 'walk out' for safety
22 March 2018, 01:07 | Deanna Wagner
Social media lit up with reaction to the walkouts of students across the country
In his maiden speech to the Senate, Jones says the nation has reached a "tipping point" on gun violence following the mass shooting at a Florida high school and activism led by surviving students. "You want to feel safe in your school".
Those safety fears were justified in Minneapolis, where a student waving a "Trump" flag was assaulted outside Southwest High School by eight other students.
Students gathered in the school's courtyard from 10 to 10:17 a.m.in remembrance of the 17 people who died in a February school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
As the lacrosse team bus rumbled back to the Castleton campus from a game in MA, the two brothers debated the best approaches for making schools safer.
"We were afraid that some of us might be doing it just to get out of class, so we made this to remind them", said Autumn Nichols, "and enough is enough".
"We've replaced discussion with winner-take-all politics, we've replaced compromise and an assertion for common ground with dogma", he said.
Andrew, a freshman at Castleton, plans to teach physical education and disagrees with his brother.
"I believe that our staff does an fantastic job of keeping our school as safe as possible, but I think it wouldn't be very hard for someone to come in and kill a lot of people", Duncan said.
Opponents of gun control measures say they aren't effective at preventing violence and infringe upon people's Second Amendment rights.
"My family is from Arkansas, so I understand how heartland people may feel about their guns", he said.
"If you are an adult and have told me to be the change I want to see, do it yourself", Dion said to loud applause.
"We were glad the students wanted to stay on campus where they can be supervised and safe", Rodriguez said. Cheryl Biller heads the chapter and said she was motivated by the students of Parkland to march in solidarity.
"It was stupid", said student Jonah Louie later in the day.
Four Pojoaque Valley High School students plan to carry a banner signed by 1,000 supporters from back home. Now administrators are having to consider security issues, which include how or whether to "filter" students through one entrance or several, he said, keeping security at the forefront.
"Fears and anxieties are detrimental to learning", he said.
"I think that what's different about this is the kids who are speaking up", de la Puerta said.
"We hope to spread kindness and uplift others", Amick said.
Dieffenbach said students from school districts in Kent, Ottawa and Allegan counties met with their team over the last few weeks to help plan the event, including from Rockford, Northview, Kentwood, Lowell, Jenison, and Caledonia.
They told their elders who called authorities and a potentially unsafe situation was averted, Skeldon said.
Chaucer opposes the idea of arming teachers. Presenters also gave personal descriptions of each person to share their stories, whether it was heroism during the shooting; community service; participation in school athletics, marching band or Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps; or their scholarships and aspirations to attend college.
Both Rammer and Schauer read the students' responses. She is passionate about literature. And U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, recently advocated for funding metal detectors in schools. But the USA has historically struggled to pass national gun legislation - partially because it lacks the kind of data the country needs for meaningful debate, experts say.
But she doesn't think that teachers should be armed.
"They're not gun-grabbers. But what these students and the young people are asking for are reasonable laws to make sure that guns don't get into the hands of the wrong people", Martinez argued.
"These students are not political tools, they are political activists".
CAS first-year Hannah Finger, an Economics major and clay shooting hobbyist, thinks that the Second Amendment is outdated and stronger gun control legislation is needed.
Plus, she thinks that armed teachers could respond in a awful way as she talked about how nerves and anxiety could cause a teacher to shoot the wrong person in the moment. "That bill is going nowhere in the Committee because of the republicans here in the House".
"The shooting didn't deter me at all (from wanting to teach)", she said.
The Grand Rapids Police Department will have ample staff present to monitor the event and make any adjustments necessary based on crowd size, according Sgt. Cathy Williams.
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