By Dena Abu-Saif | Op/Ed Editor
March 14, 2018, a group of Carroll University students, staff and faculty participated in the #ENOUGH school walkout marking the one month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
More than 20 people participated in the walkout by standing on main lawn in a circle. Halfway through the 17 minutes the participants layed on the ground on their backs to symbolize the lives lost through gun violence.
Dr. Kimberly Redding, Associate Professor of History, found the opportunity to speak out at Carroll particularly significant.
“I have kids in Waukesha schools that are making it hard for students to speak up, and Carroll allows for a public place to voice opinions,” she said. “As an educator we know that violence gets in the way of learning.”
Senior student Larissa Mendoza also expressed her motivation to participate in the protest.
“It is important that someone listens to this message, and if we are here then people are forced to listen,” she said.The walkout originated with EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women's March.
According to EMPOWER’s website, the purpose behind the walk is to protest the shooting in Parkland, but also to protest: “ALL people who have experienced gun violence, including systemic forms of gun violence that disproportionately impact teens in Black and Brown communities.”
EMPOWER also addresses the caveat about gun violence, stating “it is important that when we refer to gun violence, we do not overlook the impact of police brutality and militarized policing, or see police in schools as a solution. We also recognize the United States has exported gun violence through imperialist foreign policy to destabilize other nations. We raise our voices for action against all these forms of gun violence.”
The walkout lasted 17 minutes in honor of the 17 lives that were taken during the shooting. In those 17 minutes participants could walk around their schools, walk in the hallways or stand in silence. The important part is that students, faculty and staff used this time to showcase their stance on gun violence.
According to ABC news “the walkouts are across the nation, from Maine to Maryland, from North Dakota to North Carolina, from the White House to Washington state, and even in Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Over 3,100 school walkouts occurred even though many schools had attendance policies in place for students that were not excused by parents. According to CNN, “students could face disciplinary action if they join the walkout without the permission of school administrators.”