#EnoughIsEnough and Students will Not Back Down

Gun violence is a school related issue.

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#EnoughIsEnough and Students will Not Back Down

Staff Editorial and Naeirika Neev

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On Feb. 14, 2018 hundreds of students at Parkland High School lived through the trauma of another school shooting; a nightmare that has plagued the schools of America for decades. Seventeen students did not go home that day.

One month after the Parkland shooting at a Florida high school, students across the country participated in a nation wide walkout to protest gun violence.

Though at Rocklin High School, Julianne Benzel, a history teacher, was placed on paid administrative leave after her comments upset a few students.

“I just kind of used the example, which I know it’s really controversial, but I know it was the best example I thought of at the time — a group of students nationwide, or even locally, decided ‘I want to walk out of school for 17 minutes’ and go in the quad area and protest abortion, would that be allowed by our administration?” she said in an interview with a local CBS affiliate.

The comparison of a protest against gun violence and that of an abortion is a logical fallacy – a false equivalence.

From the basic understanding of most students, it is one of the concerns of any school to keep students safe and to make them feel safe.

Therefore, when we, as the student body, have to step foot in school worried for our lives, wondering if we’re going to be next on the news with another shooting, when teachers have to go over hypothetical methods of survival in case of a deadly shooting, when we wake up to news updates of school shootings so many times that we become numb to this absolute nightmare, it becomes an issue concerning the school.

Due to the First Amendment, those who wish to hold protests on abortion, or any other matter, have the freedom to do so. However, the controversy of abortions has nothing to do with the school administration or the school environment. Therefore, it is unreasonable to make such comparison.

Also any protest can take place following school policy and guidelines – though they would have to face the consequences, just like participants of any other protest would. 

It’s understandable that the example used was the first thing that Benzel could think of at the time, however, the same applies for any other issue as well.

Furthermore, in the broadcast interview, junior Nick Wade voiced his own view, saying, “I feel like if we were to go to school and say something like I want to walk out maybe for abortion rights, then you know they probably wouldn’t let us because that’s more of a conservative push.”

“But someone wants to say let’s walk out for gun control then the school’s going to go with it because it’s more of a popular view,” he further elaborated.

Again, the viewpoint concerning the protest is not pertinent to the matter; the relevance is how this issue was a nationwide call for action and that it concerns safety in schools. Bullets and guns, in an act of violence, affect the conservatively aligned as well as liberals and everyone in between.

As Benzel went national, people who got a glimpse of the issue have claimed that Benzel was wronged by the liberal school district.

Contrary to what they believe, the political make-up of this area is 58 percent conservative, and only 28 percent liberal, with 20 percent identifying with no party or another party.

Additionally, students also felt that they lost the opportunity to properly protest with the rest of the nation as they administration turned it into more of a memorial. They believe that the organization of the event made it seem like it was not taking place for political reasons, which some believe was the very purpose.

Students want to be able to go to school without having to fear for their lives. This is an issue that the school is concerned with as student safety is a priority for teachers and staff. That is why a call for the end of gun violence is one that is taken up by the school and occurs on school grounds.

On the other hand, though it was reassuring to know that the administration was supporting the protesters, students had other complaints on this as well.

Some felt that the way the event was turned into a memorial rather than a protest took away their opportunity to protest with the rest of the nation.

The top priority of the schools is to make sure students feel safe at school – both physically and emotionally. Therefore the school system will do what they can to fulfill this duty as best as possible and students will continue to fight until schools become an atmosphere free of gun violence. 

As the future of this nation, students across the country are making their voices heard and will not back down until the lives of students holds more value than profits made off of weapons and outdated laws held together by lies and bribes.