With 19 children and two teachers murdered, the massacare at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has left the whole nation with immense grief.
In response to this tragic event, Eastlake’s Students Demand Action (SDA) team organized a walkout, as part of a nationwide campaign, at 9:00 a.m. on May 26, to pay condolences to all the lives lost and protest for greater safety in schools.
An estimated 500 students joined SDA at the flagpole, near the main entrance of Eastlake, to pay their respects to the students and teachers who lost their lives.
Students showed up wearing orange to symbolize the value of life and to signal that they did not want to be the next victims of gun violence. The walkout started with two minutes of silence followed by the SDA officers and several students sharing their perspectives on this tragedy.
“I participated in the walkout because it is important to recognize the fact that, today in the U.S, the gun violence debate has divided us more than ever,” said Ritvik Vashist, 18.
Advaii Srivastava, 18, believes the right to bear arms was guaranteed by the Second Amendment in 1791 so that American people could protect themselves from the British if they were to invade again.
“Now, the need for a second amendment is moot. The police are capable of supporting our community,” Srivastava said.
However, not everyone shared the same views.
David Khawand, 18, said that diminishing traditional civil liberties for law-abiding citizens is not the solution, since none of the major gun control laws could have prevented the massacre in Texas.
Besides sharing opinions regarding gun violence, students also expressed their viewpoints on how to improve school safety.
“The best solution to mitigate another senseless tragedy would be to increase police presence and establish a single point of entry in all schools,” Khawand said.
Nimisha Thakur, 16, said that many shooters have a history of struggling with mental health and not getting proper care for it.
“It is necessary that more mental health resources are available and accessible to kids all across the country,” said Thakur.
There have been more than 27 school shootings in the first five months of 2022, according to Education Week.
“We should start acting to protect our kids because the victims could very much be one of your guys’ family members or your loved ones one day,” said Thakur.