Students at the walkout: photo essay

Students from Sacred Heart Prep, Menlo-Atherton High School, Menlo and several other peninsula schools flocked to the streets as part of a national school walkout in response to recent gun violence. The students were marching to show solidarity for the victims of the February 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla. Some students were also protesting the lack of gun-related legislation in response to recent shootings. Some participating students talked why they were there as well as what they thought about their school’s support of student activism. Staff photos: Connor Van Ligten

By Connor Van Ligten and Ty Corley

Sophomore Alex Morgan: “I’m sick and tired of looking at the news and seeing another heinous school shooting. There is not reason that anyone in this country should be carrying around a semi-automatic or fully automatic gun. It’s time for gun control and it's time we made our voices heard. I think it’s a little weird that [Menlo requires us] to get a permission slip because the purpose of a walkout is to show that this issue is more important than class or the consequences [of missing it].”

Sophomore Jake Martin: “I feel that’s important to use my right to express free speech. I also feel like I should be here to express my opinion on the second amendment. God bless the second amendment. I love it. I think Menlo is doing a good job on student activism. I would like to see some more diversity of thought, but that isn’t something you can force on people.”

Sophomore Emma McGaraghan: “I’m here because I think it is unfair that schools aren’t a safe place anymore. I don’t think Menlo always does a great job with student activism but this is a really positive step for Menlo in having such active student participation in this march.”

Junior Sal Argueta: “I'm participating because I think we should regulate guns more and we need to stop gun violence. I think Menlo is doing a good job [of supporting student activism]. Young people have been at the front of lots of activist movements. Young people can change everything.”

Senior Jacqui Escatel: “I’m tired of all the school shootings. I am here because I am against guns and I want to support the victims. I think Menlo is doing a good job [in supporting student activism] but they could be doing better. I don’t think the permission slip thing was a good idea because the point of a walkout is to show that what you are walking out for is more important than school.”

Sophomore Lily Loftis: “I am here to protest the imminent danger that students are facing from gun violence. Menlo is doing a lot better job in this walkout then the past walkout[after the Trump election].”
Junior Braedon Young: “I am here to honor those that have been lost and those who may be in similar situations in the future.”
Menlo-Atherton Sophomore Francesca Bautista: “Enough is enough. We have grown up with these events and begun to normalize it. Although sometimes we face challenges [at Menlo-Atherton H.S.] in the legality of our protest, our teachers voiced their support for us.”

Junior Jordan Gold: “I think this is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where all the schools around the nation are standing together no matter what your political belief is. Several teachers have encouraged me to go [to the march] today despite missing classes.”

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