Walkout Day at Lamar High School
A normal day at Lamar High School consists of more than 3,500 students showing up to learn. However, on Friday, April 20, 2018, only one-third of that number came to school. The many students who weren’t at school went to a city-wide student protest against gun violence, which consisted of a 1.2-mile march to Houston City Hall.
The student walkout was held on April 20 to commemorate the April 20, 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, the first major school shooting. Gun violence at schools has intensified since Columbine and the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting began protests in February. Inspired by the Stoneman Douglas students, Lamar students in very large numbers decided to take action and stand up for their beliefs against gun violence at the Houston rally.
At City Hall, Lamar students rallied with thousands of other Houstonians for hours chanting for change. Dr. James McSwain, Lamar’s principal, allowed students the freedom to participate by having parents e-mail a request for permission to attend the rally. Back at the Lamar campus, an alternative way to protest was set up by Dr. McSwain by letting any student that couldn’t go to the rally downtown express their views at the flagpole in front of the school during their lunch period.
Lamar students appreciated the opportunity to make their feelings about gun violence known at the rally and on campus because they know that not all schools supported attendance. Those who attended the rally had a positive experience and engaged in discussions voicing the many opinions on this complex issue. Freshman Omar Alvarez said, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns should still be obtainable, but they should not be allowed in public settings where people can be put in danger.”
Freshman Dominic Wooldridge was one of the students who could not attend the rally. He remarked, “Even though I wasn’t able go to the actual rally, I made sure people knew my beliefs against gun violence by protesting when I got the opportunity at lunch.” Principal McSwain stated in a voicemail message to all students and parents after Friday’s rally, “I heard many positive reports about the behavior of the Lamar students at the rally. I am proud of their engagement on this very important issue.”
Whether by going to the City Hall rally or protesting at the flagpole during lunch, the Lamar student body made their voices heard.
Want more buzz like this? Sign up for our Morning Buzz emails.
To leave a comment, please log in or create an account with The Buzz Magazines, Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. Or you may post as a guest.