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Canyon Vista Students Host Walkout to Protest Gun Violence

Students+gathered+under+the+bus+canopy+with+posters+during+the+walkout.
Students gathered under the bus canopy with posters during the walkout.

Students gathered under the bus canopy with posters during the walkout.

Photo by Rosie Deal

Photo by Rosie Deal

Students gathered under the bus canopy with posters during the walkout.

Rosie Deal

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For the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, Canyon Vista students took part in a national walkout to protest gun violence. At exactly 10 a.m. on April 20, crowds of students flooded outside to voice their opinions on recent shootings at Stoneman Douglas High and other schools.

Zack Catuogno ‘22 and Greer Tepper ‘22 organized the protest, which began outside under the bus canopy and finished in the cafeteria with students giving speeches to share their opinions.

“I wanted to be part of the change and I wanted to inspire people to actually do something instead of just sending out thoughts and prayers,” Catuogno said. “I wanted to start a conversation and get people to do something.”

However, organizing a schoolwide walkout was no easy feat.

“We thought the first step was to spread the word about it, but it wasn’t moving very quickly, so we started a social media account to promote it even more,” Tepper said.

Photo by Rosie Deal
Zack Catuogno ’22 holds a sign protesting gun violence.

Their efforts paid off, and crowds of kids swarmed outside to protest. Many students made posters that called for change, and others started chants that rang through the air.

“I think it’s important because the safety of a lot of kids [is] at risk,” Madeline Early ‘22 said. “As 14- and 15-year-olds, we shouldn’t have to worry about whether we’re going to come to school and be able to go home.”

Many teachers also supported the walkout because it gave students the opportunity to speak up and voice their opinions on important issues.

“I believe in civic engagement; if you believe in something and you want change, you need to do something,” Texas History teacher Michele Sandlin said.

Many of the gathered students wanted the same things — to feel safe at school and to raise awareness to the fact that they want laws to be changed to protect students all over the U.S.

“I hope that we’ll have better gun control [laws] and not as many schools will get shot at,” Devin Roland ‘23 said.

One of the strengths of the walkout was that the students got to practice standing up for themselves and their beliefs.

“There needs to be change,” Avalon Adams ‘22 said. “The world could be way safer if we didn’t fight fire with fire and actually made change.”

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