Student Protest

Tia Walkup, Guest Contributor

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On April 20th students from both the Greenbrier West Young Democrats club and the Greater Greenbrier Valley March For Our Lives stood outside the old Tastee Freez from 6:45 to 7:45 and held a peaceful protest based on the March for Our Lives movement. We stood out with many signs and a few adults and parents who were there for support. A few signs stated things like “Am I next?” and “Enough is Enough” and my personal favorite, “When I said I’d rather die than go to math class, I was joking!”

The protest was picked on this day as a remembrance of the anniversary of the Columbine shooting that happened on April 20th 19 years ago. The shooting happened at 11:19 so our Young Democrats group also decided to have a moment of silence for the 13 victims that died that day. We had a few signs with the names of the victims and one that said “Remembering Columbine.”

Just so everyone knows, no, we’re not trying to take your guns. We are pushing for gun reform, not a gun ban. For some reason when people see these protests they immediately assume we are trying to take their guns. If you are truly a responsible gun owner, you shouldn’t be worrying about any of this because it does not affect you whatsoever. Everyone I spoke to at the protest had nearly the same opinion, no more bump stocks, more regulations on high capacity magazines, and more regulations on guns in general. NOT A BAN. So please, don’t assume things and start to spread blatantly ignorant rumors. Talk to one of us first, debate us.

Keep in mind, what we did was a PEACEFUL protest. We did nothing to hurt anyone or anything, we weren’t shoving our opinions down anyones throats. However, as soon as we entered the school after our protest, we were met with immediate verbal attacking. Within the first 15 minutes of being in school I had personally experienced 7 verbal attacks from individuals and groups. These attacks come from the same people who say cutting down on bullying and harassment will stop school shootings. That is quite frankly, blatant hypocrisy.

Even though my friends and I experienced verbal harassment the entire school day in nearly every period, I do not regret doing it. Because in the end, whether you agree with us or not, we started a conversation and that’s what we needed to do.

If kids are old enough to be shot, they’re old enough to have an opinion about being shot.”

-Trevor Noah

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1 Comment

One Response to “Student Protest”

  1. Chrissy Bowles on May 2nd, 2018 9:22 am

    I am so very disappointed in the people who have been disrespectful to you and the others who participated in the protest. Anyone who has been a student in my class knows that I always say it’s okay to disagree, but it’s never okay to disrespect.

    LISTEN UP!! Have an engaging discussion about your opposing viewpoints, but if you find yourself getting angry, feeling red-faced, if you are wanting to use foul language, if you want to call your “opponent” a bad name, YOU NEED TO BACK OFF. Re-engage in the conversation when you can do so objectively and calmly.

    What are you afraid of? I see this all the time from hot topic issues like this to petty issues. I say to the students who react with disrespect: You know what the right thing to do is. I trust that you can learn to express your opinion in a way that enlightens, not in a way that hurts.

    At least, consider this: If you disagree that stronger gun laws are necessary, so you react in an angry, bullying, disrespectful manner, then you are very effectively taking on the mantle of the anti-gun supporters. Do you get that? React violently, react with anger, react with name calling, react with bullying, react with your red faces and shaking fists and prove to the world you can never be trusted with a piece. Cause if you act that way, I’m afraid your finger might twitch. If you act that way, I don’t want you to EVER be able to have in your possession something that can take away life. Based on the reactions to the peaceful protest that I’ve seen in my class, I’m starting to question my own belief in the 2nd Amendment. I am a registered voter btw.

    I challenge you (BOTH SIDES) to use your words and behavior in a respectful way to CONVINCE me that your stance on this issue will make me safer.


    Mrs. Bowles

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Student Protest