Stand up protest at CHS

CHS took part in a nationwide protest for the school shooting that happened in Parkland, FL, last month.

Seventeen people were murdered by a Nikolas Cruz, 18-year-old former student at the school, who used an AR-15.

The CHS protest was a different form of the nationwide walk out that some schools chose to participate in.

Pittsylvania County Schools decided that a walk out was not appropriate because of the SOL testing that was scheduled that day.  The administration instead offered a protest method for interested students where they were allowed to stand during a five minute period of silence if they so chose.

The meaning of the protest was nebulous because the school system made it non-political and instead based the period of silence on remembering the 17 lives lost in the attack.

Most students viewed the nationwide protest as more political and more about stricter gun control laws than remembering the lives lost. This conflicted view on the protest caused different participation rates at CHS, based on peoples’ understanding of the protest.

Harper Jones, senior, said “I think we should have been able to share our opinions a little more, and, yes, because even though we’re young, we still have our own opinions.”

Sophie Parrish said, “The five minute stand was pointless because we were given permission by adults. The point of doing an actual walk-out was to show that the kids are taking power into their own hands and not leaving it up to the adults. We actually care about what’s happening, and I would have walked out to show defiance to potential school shooters that they can’t put us down forever. We will come back up.”

Dylan Sparks said, “I think the five minute stand was nice because the school made it about the lives lost instead of a political issue. I think that other schools should have participated if that’s what the students want, but it should be student-led and not school-led.”

Mallorie Burton, said, “I think the school should have made the issue more clear, because I thought it was just for the lives lost in the shooting and not about gun control.” The announcement prior did state that the silence was in remembrance of lives lost.