Chanting “not one more” and “save your thoughts and prayers,” about 150 students attended a protest against gun violence on Wednesday, March 14.
In response to the Parkland shooting, the Muslim Student Association (MSA), World Citizens Club, and the Black Student Union (BSU) organized the event in connection with thousands of students and staff from high schools across the country who walked out of classes at 10 a.m.
The events lasted 17 minutes in honor of the 17 students who died in the shooting.
“You never know when the next school shooting might happen,” said sophomore Addie Bukhari, president of MSA, and organizer of the walkout.
At CVHS, students protested in the quad from the start of break through the first few minutes of fourth/ fifth period. Walkout organizers planned the protest to coincide with break in order to minimize class disruption, as well as to ensure the protesters would have an audience.
Bukhari began the protest with chants, which she led from the stage. She then handed her megaphone to the first speaker, senior Monet Khanyahl.
“I refuse to sit down while children are dying,” said Khanyahl.
Seniors Marbella Daniel and Natalie Taugher, and sophomore Grace Boyd followed Khanyahl. Bukhari concluded with a tearful speech, then asked protesters to lay down or sit for a moment of silence. Bukhari read the names of victims of the Parkland shooting, then fell silent herself.
“I’m beyond proud of my community,” said Bukhari after the walkout.
Principal Blaine Torpey addressed potential disruption to the school day in an email to families, as well as in an announcement over the loudspeaker minutes before the wakout. He made it clear that students who are late to class because of the protest would receive unexcused tardies.
While Torpey stressed he cannot legally allow students to miss class, the principal made attempts to demonstrate his support for students’ right to assembly and free speech.
“I think it is important for all adults to support young people in fashioning the world that they want to live in,” said Torpey.