Walkout for Columbine

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Students hold the loudspeaker and signs in support of the cause.

By Ariana Burr

Over 200 students from Edmonds Woodway, and a group from College Place, walked out last Friday, on the 20th of April, in remembrance of the Columbine shooting which took place 19 years ago. In Columbine High School, 15 students and faculty lost their lives on April 15, 1999 due to two school shooters. This shooting shocked the nation because it was the first time a shooting this extreme had occurred. There has been an increase in school shootings as never seen by the United States before recently.

Since the Columbine shootings, there have been an average of 10 school shootings per year. In only the first few months of 2018 there have already been 11 school shootings making this year higher than the average.

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Jaida Votolato grins while marching across the street.

The protesters were there to honor the victims of Columbine and to protest the NRA’s pressure on government, President Trump’s proposal for guns in the classroom and gun control in general in this country.

Though the walkout was a national event, there were a few specific student organizers which helped get the word out to the student body. “Our original goal…was to raise awareness about gun violence…we ultimately want the NRA’s influence out of government, and common sense gun laws,” said one of the walkout organizers, Alissa Berman. Walking out of school on Friday gave the students a voice to express their concerns to the government about the situation. It said that the students who walked out all over the country aren’t going to stop fighting until they receive the desired end goal. 

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Beth Girma holds signs on stage.

The walkout began with several speeches about many different issues. Beth Girma, Stuart Heslop and Kira Augustamar were some of the speakers. They addressed the discrimination against minorities by the police, what it’s like to go to school following how frequent shootings have become, and what they believe needs to be done. After the scheduled speeches, the organizers of the event opened up the floor to the attendees of the walkout to express their opinions. 

When the student speakers finished presenting to the crowd, the group moved to the intersection of 76th and 212th. “Hey! Ho! The NRA has got to go!” was one of the most popular chants while standing at the intersection. For an hour, the protesters chanted and cheered for passing cars’ honking their horns in support of the walkout. In the last five minutes, there was an interference by a 19-year old Everett man who proceeded to stop his car in the middle of the intersection and stand on the top of the car. Interrupting traffic, this man yelled at the protesters, shouting and making inappropriate gestures. Soon after he arrived, one of the security guards appeared to walk over to him and tell him to leave. The Edmonds police force stated that the man was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

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