DHS walkout honors Aztec, Parkland victims


Corbin Miller, Reporter

By: Corbin Miller

Almost every school has believed and stated, “It will never happen to us” in regards to being involved in a school shooting. But even small, innocent towns like Parkland, Florida– not to mention our neighbors in Aztec, New Mexico- can’t hide behind the terrifying inaccuracy of that saying.

On March 14th, more than 300 students at Durango High School walked out of their classes onto the football field at 10:00am for 17 minutes, every minute paying respect to each life that was lost during the Parkland school shooting. The walkout was completely optional, but many students, like freshman Clarice Hise, believed it was important to participate.

“I think it is wrong that in society today there is  still this much violence, especially in schools where students are expecting to be safe,” said Hise.

Students like Clarice partook to voice their concerns about gun violence and to show that they believe the government needs to do something to prevent more lives from being taken at schools.

On February 14th, 2018, Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida experienced one of the deadliest school massacres in history. During the shooting, 17 lives of students and teachers were taken by the use of an AR-15.

Last year, Parkland was named the safest city in the state, making the shooting a huge and devastating surprise.

Directly one month after the shooting occured, on March 14th, students all around the nation were invited to participate in a school walkout to pay their respects to the 17 lost lives and to bring attention to the gun violence issues that have become the main topic on many people’s minds, whether they’re anti-gun or pro-gun.

A lot of students who participated, such as Jr. Logan Van Lindt, are very passionate about this issue and were excited to see a great deal of the student body participate.

“I care about this and I think it is important to address, I think there needs to be a lot of change,” said Van Lindt.

While participating in the walkout, students were able to sign a giant paper banner that expressed their concerns about gun violence. The banner was sent to congress to show how many students believe there needs to be change to gun violence issues and to show that they payed respect to those who lost their lives due to the recurring issue.

The walkout was not advertised or promoted by the school. The majority of students learned about the walkout over social media.

“I heard a lot about the walkout from many of my friends and saw an Instagram page promoting it,” said So. Rush Webster.

The DHS Student Council heard about the walkout and worked with a few DHS staff members to help the students express their voice. The student body executive members knew how important it would be to work with the school in keeping this event safe.

“Our principal was in support of us, as students, expressing our first amendment right of freedom of speech and to peacefully protest. The safety of the students was his main concern and wanted to ensure we could continue yet remain safe,” said So. Class President Kaylan Wait.

The school did not encourage students to participate in the walkout, they instead made it safer by moving it from the front of the school to the football field, and required students to check back into the school, showing their student ID’s as they re-entered the building.  

While many students shared their voices at the walkout, other students remained inside the school.

“I don’t think that walking out of the school is going to change anything. I mean the government hasn’t done anything yet to change the laws after the shooting, so why would they change them after some 17 minute school walkout. It just seems like a waste of time, and an excuse to get out of class,” said a student who would like to remain anonymous.

A few students who stayed in their classes did not feel passionate about the issue and felt no use in walking out. Other students who did not participate knew the walkout was to pay respect to the 17 lives lost and liked that idea, but preferred to go to class instead of being marked tardy.

The March 14th walkout was only one of many that have been planned and are going to occur due to the Parkland Shooting. The devastation of the shooting has caused many students to rise up in walkouts and share their voice on this issue, in hopes of ending all school shootings forever.