Emery High students participated in today’s nationwide ‘Enough’ protest calling for safer schools and stronger gun-control legislation. The protest was coordinated in the wake of last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida exactly one month ago. The protest was intended to last 17 minutes, a symbolic tribute to the 17 students and faculty killed in the shooting.
At 10 a.m., High School students exited classes and peacefully gathered directly in front of the main school entrance. Emery Middle School students also worked with their principal to stage an orderly walkout into the campus hallway.
Emery High Students were joined by students from nearby Escuela Bilingue Internacional (EBI). In addition, 8th graders at the German International School joined in solidarity by walking to the nearby Arizmendi Bakery and standing on San Pablo Avenue for 17 minutes.
Students scrawled hopeful messages and the peace symbol with chalk on the concrete and side of the facility. They also included more tersely worded anthems like “Screw the NRA!”
“Change will come sooner or later but if we don’t work together to show that gun laws need to be stricter, nothing will change,” noted student activist Tamara Aguilar. “There is no excuse for the congressmen who see this and still not support the need for tighter gun regulations.”
EUSD Superintendent Dr. John Rubio was supportive of his district’s participation, expressed in a letter sent to parents yesterday. “I greatly appreciate that any young men and women across the country want to take positive action and express their views in order to create change.” Rubio also cautioned the students that chose to participate to do so in an orderly manner and to observe safety protocols.
“Our students had a small amount of time to organize this for Emery,” added High School Principal Jessica Goode. “Yet we had the participation of all students helping us show our support towards the students fighting for gun regulations, while honoring the lives lost.”
An estimated 3,000 schools across the country participated in today’s protest organized by Women’s March Youth Empower. Berkeley High and Oakland Tech were among neighboring districts that also staged walkouts.
A Florida judge entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ on suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz’s behalf today in a Broward County courtroom.