Students from Across Dallas Walk Out of Class in Protest for Stricter Gun Laws | Dallas Observer


Students Across Dallas Walk Out of Classes in Protest for Stricter Gun Laws

Students across the U.S. got away from their desks to protest gun violence and ask for tighter gun laws.
Students across the U.S. got away from their desks to protest gun violence and ask for tighter gun laws. Carol Yepes/Getty Images
On Wednesday afternoon, students from high schools across the United States carried out an orchestrated walkout in protest of school gun violence. The national effort included students from many schools in North Texas, including Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and Wilmer-Hutchins High School in Dallas, as well as schools in Irving, Plano, Frisco and Arlington, among others.

In the past month, North Texas has witnessed two school shootings. Jashawn Poirier, a 16-year-old from Arlington, was shot and killed outside of Lamar High School on March 20, allegedly by a 15-year-old. The following day, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas was injured by a gunshot.

On March 27, three elementary school students and three adults were killed inside of the Covenant School in Nashville when a shooter blasted into the building. All of this comes as the first anniversary of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde approaches in just a few weeks. There, 19 students and two teachers were killed before the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was fatally shot by law enforcement.

According to students interviewed by The Dallas Morning News, many are hoping this mass demonstration leads to stricter gun laws.

“We’re no longer gonna stand by and allow for people to die around us,” a Townview Magnet Center student told the newspaper. “This ends with us today. And it ends with us. Now.”

National advocate organization Students Demand Action has been encouraging student bodies to organize the walkouts on a local level. Teaching resource website We Are Teachers published an article with tips for educators looking to support students who participate in a walkout.

Brynn Beacham, a 16-year-old Hillcrest High School student who started a Dallas Students Demand Action chapter, told KERA, “I’m nervous walking in every day because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to walk out.”
@weareteachers_ Teachers have been taking action after school shootings for decades now. We’ve voted. We’ve protested. We’ve petitioned. This time, the students are leading. This Wednesday, April 5, the organization @studentsdemand is planning a national walkout at noon local time. The purpose of the walkout is to demand action from lawmakers to address gun violence in a commandingly visible (but still peaceful) way. We’re sharing 3 ways you can support your students who have decided to walk out. To read our full article, head to the link in our bio. Different states, districts, and schools will have their own ways of managing the student walkout. But no matter where you are, knowing your students’ rights (and your own) will help you support them as they make their voices heard. #studentwalkout #studentsdemandaction #nationalschoolwalkout #weareteachers ♬ Hope - Max Farrar
KERA’s report noted that Hillcrest’s walkout Wednesday was to include speeches from some of the students, but security personnel kept reporters from getting close enough to hear what was being said.

The Advocate reported that “hundreds of students” took part in Woodrow Wilson High School’s walkout in Dallas, reporting that, “While the protest was not organized by Dallas ISD, the district respected the students’ right to participate in it.”
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Kelly Dearmore is the News Editor for the Observer. His work has appeared in Texas Monthly, Success, Dallas Morning News and Cowboys & Indians, among other outlets. He lives in Carrollton with his wife, kids and angelic mother-in-law.

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