WHS students take a stand against gun violence

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Conor McCoy

WHS students outside the school during the walk-out

Conor McCoy, Staff Writer

As a result of several recent shootings, students around the country are saying that they have had enough and are taking matters into their own hands. Following the lead of the Stoneman Douglas High School students, young adults all around the nation, including those at WHS, decided that enough was enough and took action to protest gun laws.

As a member of WHS’s protest, sophomore Alex Carpenter shared her motivations for participating and what she hoped the outcome of the movement will be.

“We were hoping to raise awareness about the importance of gun control.  We also wanted to give students a sense of community and purpose, and to let them know that their actions and voices matter,” Carpenter said.

To make their young voices heard, students had organized a field trip to the State House on Wednesday, March 14. Although the field trip was cancelled due to the heavy snowfall, several students decided to travel through the storm to protest in front of the State House in downtown Boston.

One WHS student who has been particularly involved with organizing protests here in Weston is junior Michael Martinez. Martinez is also an organizer of large scale demonstrations in Boston and hopes to spread awareness on the issue.

“I’m hoping that these protests, walkouts, and other events of activism could bring awareness to gun violence, an issue that continues to exist in many urban communities and which is becoming an even bigger problem in the suburbs now,” Martinez said.

The rescheduled in-school protest took place at WHS on March 21. At 10 AM that morning, hundreds of WHS students congregated at the flagpole outside of the high school. Many had prepared signs and banners in order to commemorate the victims of the massacre in Florida and to have their voices heard on the issue of gun control.

“I’m not surprised by how many people walked out on Wednesday, but I️ am definitely encouraged by it. I️ think that our school community is very involved and politically aware, and that’s a really positive trait,” Carpenter said.

Even the WHS administration, including our principal Anthony Parker, was supportive of the decision to have a walk out during school.

“I supported it. It was something that brought the school together,” Parker said.

However, WHS student activism did not end there as many continued to be involved with the March For Our Lives demonstration in Boston. The intent of the march was to show legislators that gun reform is desperately needed, especially in the wake of various tragedies like the one in Florida. Many WHS students and faculty were among the crowd, marching for gun reform.

As a participator and organizer in this event, Martinez reflected on the environment of the protest and what he hopes will come out of it.

“It was mix of anger and optimism- as many of us our angry at the lack of action but we’re also optimistic that the pressure this generation is putting on legislators might make some change and lead to reform,” Martinez said.

When asked about future demonstrations, WHS’s young activists hope to continue planning and participating in events like this.

“The next steps are continuing to pressure legislators, especially on a federal level, where large-scale change can be made. Writing representatives emails and calling their offices are easy ways to make sure your voice is being heard,” Carpenter said.