Pioneer Students Walk Out of Classes at Noon

. February 22, 2018.
Students show support for Florida students anti-gun measures
Students show support for Florida students anti-gun measures

Hundreds of students at Pioneer High in Ann Arbor left classes at noon today to demonstrate solidarity with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida who are demanding action on gun control legislation after last week’s devastating school shooting. Students Chanted “Guns never, students forever!” and “Guns have changed, so should we!” while gathering outside what’s known as the Flagpole entrance to the school near the gyms and auditorium.

Senior Emma Roth above the crowd during the walk out

Senior Emma Roth above the crowd during the walk out

“As a student, I shouldn’t have to fear for my life when I come to school,” said Emma Roth, senior who helped organize the walkout. Today’s protest, which lasted 17 minutes as a way to pay tribute to the 17 people killed in last week’s shooting, was a spontaneous response to Florida’s state representatives voting yesterday to refuse to discuss an assault weapons ban, but Roth says plans are afoot for a larger event in the next few weeks. “We’re planning a bigger countywide one for March 14th,” she explains, noting that students will then clarify the list of legislative fixes they want to see happen, a list that will include a call for a full assault weapons ban, a restriction on purchasing guns of any kind for anyone under 21, comprehensive nationwide background checks for every weapons purchase and expanded funding for mental health screenings and services.

Tracy Lowder, Pioneer principal, during the walk out

Tracy Lowder, Pioneer principal, during the walk out

Tracy Lowder, Pioneer’s principal fully supports the students in their endeavors. Speaking into a bullhorn, he told the crowd of assembled students: “I am incredibly proud of the group that came out here today. As the instructional leader of this building, I applaud students who are passionate about what they believe in. It is people like you who are going to make this world the way we want it to be. We stand up for those who don’t have the voice to stand up for themselves.”

Before heading back to class, students observed a moment of silence  for the victims of the shooting, and concluded the rally with a rousing call-and-response chant:

When I say guns, you say no!

Guns!

No!

Guns!

No!

Guns!

No!

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