Photo by Samantha Bengtson
Jesenia Arriola, Fabiola Moreno, Alex Flores and Cindy Aguilar lead the school assembly during National Walkout Day on March 14.
GONZALES — Gonzales High School students decided not to walk out, but instead have a lunchtime assembly to pre-register students age 16 and over to vote and remember the lives that were lost last month in Parkland, Fla.
Gonzales Youth Council and the Interact Club collaborated to mark the one-month anniversary of the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead.
Gonzales students gathered in a semi-circle holding posters of the names and faces of the 17 victims while their peers listened to them in the bleachers.
Junior Jesenia Arriola and teacher Dan Bacardi read off a list of 17 actions for gun safety in honor of the 17 victims.
1. Speak up using first amendment rights.
2. Have the courage to act.
3. Engage friends, parents, relatives on the subject of gun safety
4. Strength in numbers working with larger numbers to making the impossible, possible.
5. Educate yourself learning the facts about gun safety and gun violence.
6. Speak up at Gonzales School Board meetings about the safety of schools.
7. Meet with GHS administrators expecting real answers on school safety and discuss the likelihood of a tragedy like this happening here.
8.Talk to business owners who sell assault rifles and ammunition and get them to value students’ safety more than gun sales.
9. Write to Congressmen and push for stronger legislation against acts of violence.
10. Demand school community partnerships and create safety measures on school property.
11. Stop the insanity of endless school violence.
12. Create background check requirements on all gun sales from preventing domestic violence abusers from possessing fire arms to banning bump stocks and assault rifles.
13. Strive for change and demand life-saving policies.
14. Be optimistic that congress will pass laws that support their concerns.
15. Stipulate that gun violence prevention becomes the No. 1 priority.
16. Counter the gun lobby.
17. Unity for the betterment of the country.
Gonzales Interact Club was also helping the event by allowing students to pre-register to vote if they were at least 16 years old.
“A lot of people often complain that they don’t have a voice, that they are not heard, that they can’t impact change,” said Youth Commissioner Fabiola Moreno.
Youth Commissioner Cindy Aguilar quoted the “Hamilton” music.
“There’s a part where the Schulyer Sisters say ‘Look around, look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now’,” said Aguilar. “I think right now more than ever it’s important to look around and see the faces of our peers, staff members, lunch ladies, janitors, all of them play a huge part in our school.”
Junior Alex Flores also read a poem written by another student about the impact of school shootings.