Students Join National Walkout

Jessica Rosiak, Staff Writer

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In support of tighter gun restrictions and in recognition of those killed at Majory Stoneman High School, a few hundred Campolindo students made their way to the quad at 10:00am on March 14 to participate in a nation-wide act of civil disobedience.

The Campolindo event was coordinated by a small group of current students, including junior Sofia West. “3 weeks beforehand was when I got my idea and got all of my friends involved,” said West.

During the event, West thanked the attendees before introducing speakers junior Sam Nunn and senior Fiona Deane-Grundman to the crowd that had gathered.  Both Nunn and Deane-Grundman spoke in favor of stricter gun control legislation.

“We knew that both of them were really passionate about pro-gun control and are also in Youth and Government so they are both active,” said West. 

“I was kind of surprised because I did not expect her to choose me, but I was very excited because I am very passionate on the issue of gun control, and I was looking forward to giving a speech,” said Nunn about being asked to speak by West.

Nunn opened his speech with statistics that illustrate the danger guns pose to American citizens, particularly students. “I decided to go with the approach in which I focused on the …shocking statistics… and gave a powerful message,” said Nunn.

Deane-Grundman also provided statistics, comparing the epidemic of American gun deaths with the relatively low number in countries with stricter gun laws. She also recognized the students who were killed on February 14 by name, imploring the audience to remember the victims rather than their murderer.

The crowd was active, clapping and cheering.  Some students cried.

Teachers and administrators were also present, including AUHSD Super Intendant John Nickerson.  While students arrived at approximately 10:00am and stayed beyond the end of the brunch period, most teachers attended only for the time they had between their 4th period class and the beginning of the Academy period.

At a staff meeting earlier in the week, teachers had been instructed by Principal John Walker to note any students who left their 4th period class early to participate in the event.  Walker had conveyed to the organizers of the event that there would be consequences for students who left class early, though the exact penalty was not articulated.

“Mr. Walker called us in for a 20 minute talk the Friday before the walkout and skirted around the topic. He was very vague while also saying that it wouldn’t be a big consequence but there will be a consequence,” said West. 

According to West, she was told by teachers that the consequence was likely to be an Academy period in which students would be asked to write letters to their representatives.

West added, “I think it is really fair. It is proactive, not negative, and its not going to go on anyones permanent record. It is not even really a detention.”

“If kids can use this experience to be more engaged in the political system and do some follow up, like doing more than just walking out, maybe following up by contacting local political figures, [it] is a positive thing,” said English teacher Jake Donohoe of the event. 

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