By Lydia Hamilton, Aranza Lara Arizpe, Kathleen Monahan, and Daniel Rosentover
On Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m., B-CC students marched around the baseball field in solidarity with students around the country to honor the Parkland victims and to protest gun violence.
Seventeen minutes were alloted by the school administration to march with signs around the school and listen to the names of the seventeen victims and speeches read by student leaders. There was a moment of silence
(Photo from Lydia Hamilton) to recognize the loss of the Parkland shooting victims. Echos of “what do we want?” “CHANGE!” “When do we want it?” “NOW,” lead by Vikram Akwei, school-wide SGA president, resounded through the neighborhood as the student body gathered around the East-West Highway entrance.
For some students, this event represented the power of the student body and administration collaborating and cooperating, highlighting “the importance of standing together with our school as a whole,” according to the vice president of the sophomore class SGA, Hayden Renaghan. However, not everyone agreed with Renaghan’s perspective. Another sophomore felt that giving school time defeated the purpose of the demonstration and that students were supposed to leave school to show that the issue of gun violence was more important than school attendance.
These students, among others, choose to attend the rally in DC. One student shared that they prefered going the rally in DC instead of the one in school because students in this area have the unique opportunity to go to the White House or the Capitol and “put it in their face” to fight for change, right in front of those incharge. Downtown was filled with the cries of teens who declared “enough is enough” and were determined to make their voices heard.
As with every protest, there are those who dissent. A libertarian student at B-CC believes “the school should not be facilitating this clearly partisan event on an official level. ” The student thought a better way for administration to respond to the walk-out should instead “be encouraging an open dialogue on gun control from all sides” since “one of the fundamental principles of a public education system should be diversity of opinion, and this walkout is an example of the administration encouraging the opposite.”
The demonstrations and protests provided students an opportunity to stand up for what they believe in and exercise their voice in a pertinent issue.