Students hold walkout to advocate for gun safety laws


Emily Miller

Students advocate for gun safety laws during a protest.

Fed up with gun violence, students took a stand and walked out of class at noon on Wednesday. 

“We care more about our voices being heard than the absence from class,” Kyle Kwezani, senior, said.

Armed with signs and talking points, the group of about 30 gathered across the street in peaceful protest. They chanted and cheered as cars drove by. When the lunch bell rang, their number swelled to over 50.

“School shouldn’t be a place where people are scared for their lives,” Bella Stansbury, senior, said. “We want to grab attention and we want our voices to be heard because we are the ones coming to school.”

The walkout was held in unison with a national walkout organized by Students Demand Action. According to their website, SDA is “a national initiative, created by and for teens and young adults, to channel the energy and passion of high school and college-aged students into the fight against gun violence.” According to SDA, guns are the number one killer of 18-25 year olds, and every day, more than 110 Americans are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded.

“There have already been so many shootings – 13 in three months – that we want to demand action from anybody who has the ability to take action,” Edie Theiss, sophomore, said.

In advance of the walkout, seniors Kyle Kwezani, Molly Ruby and Stasia Vaituulala met to plan the event and to make posters.

“As students we are exhausted from watching the tragedy of mass shootings repeat,” Ruby said. “The tragedy at Lamar High School on March 20 reminded us that there has been nothing done in Texas to reduce the availability of guns.”

Vaituulala expanded on the state government’s response.

“This demonstration is a protest against legislators like Representative Ellzey and Representative Williams who consistently vote against gun control laws that could protect us,” she said. “We are the next generation of voters and we will hold you accountable.”

The students stood together for an hour to advocate for gun safety laws.

“We’re taught we are the minds of tomorrow and that we can make a difference,” Kwezani said. “This is one way to do it.

To continue the conversation and allow more students to participate, another rally will be held at 7:35 a.m., Monday, April 10 outside City Hall.