Bellingham Students Take On Gun Violence
On February 21, at 11:22 am, students in Bellingham, and across the country, walked out of school in support of the students at Stoneman Douglas High School, who experienced a school shooting the previous week, on February 14, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday. We reached out to some of our students for their perspective on the walkout and the issue of gun violence. Here is one response we got, from Kenzie Knapp, who also expressed her appreciation to First Congregational Church for its support. Thank you, Kenzie, for your words. We're listening.
I will say that I was not one of the leaders for this walk out, but I did participate with a lot of my friends and classmates. When I first heard about the news of Stoneman Douglas High School, I didn’t really think a whole lot about it, it’s sort of become normal, and I’ve almost become numb to it. Which is common, and that I think is
the worst part. It wasn’t until my leadership class the next day when we decided to all write a note of support to send to Florida, I finally realized it wasn’t enough, that this would keep happening until we do something. I realized again that this action would not be organized by our teachers or our government (immediately). So when I heard about this walkout I was all for it, and posted it on all my social media.
The day of, all of my journalism class walked out at 11:22, I drove five people for the first time, we parked in the church lot and walked to city hall. Everyone there was peaceful, respectful, vulnerable, articulate and young. (Not to mention freezing cold.) I had another realization that although we can’t vote we can still have so much voice and with that, power. We just have to keep going. So the “Our Voices Count” project is about students continuing this action until we finally feel safe in schools and elsewhere. We’re currently trying to coordinate schedules and talk next steps. My generation has a pretty bad reputation about being self-centered and obsessed with our phones, but at the same time none of this would have been possible without the spread on social media. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of my generation and my hometown. We just gotta get to work!
The "Our Voices Count" project is a student-organized Facebook group to provide mutual support for student activists, as well as a place to stay updated on events and action items.