2018-03-15 / Front Page

Rogers Made Plans, Canceled Walkout

School shootings have been a constant in America’s collective consciousness in the last two decades, ever since the high school shooting on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.

Last month, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, gave rise to a youth movement that is sweeping across the country, its efforts focused on gun law reform and the eradication of violence in schools.

This week, a month later, on March 14, thousands of students from elementary and middle schools, high schools and universities across the nation planned and executed a 10 a.m. simultaneous show of solidarity and an insistence that they will no longer tolerate gun violence at their schools and the laws that allow for it.

Students streamed out of their campus buildings, gathered at their state capitols, met at the White House, where they turned their backs on it for 17 minutes – in honor of the 17 lives lost, even assembled indoors for ceremonies, teach-ins, and simple, 17-minute moments of silence for those attacked and killed on their school grounds in Florida last month.

Student organizers and gun-safety advocates are pushing for legislation to make schools a gun-free zone and for a federal ban on military style weapons commonly referred to as “assault weapons.”

In 2004, the federal ban on assault weapons was allowed to lapse, making it legal for civilians to purchase them. The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (ABW 2013) was proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, on January 24, 2013, a month after the Sandy Hook Elementary

School shooting of Dec. 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults were killed. It was defeated in the Senate on April 17, 2013 by a vote of 60 to 40.

Several Aquidneck Island schools participated this past week in the March 14 nationwide demonstrations and educational events, including Middletown High School and Thompson Middle School; both actions were collaborations of students, teachers, and administrators.

Rogers High School canceled its activities, according to Principal Jared Vance, because “with the two-hour delay from the snow, having an abbreviated event… wouldn’t have given the respect that the Parkland victims deserved… We are still looking to have a demonstration. It just wasn’t going to happen today.”

NTW staff

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