District Statement Concerning Student Walkouts

The recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, and other losses of life on school campuses across the nation over the past several years have driven increased interest in student-led civic engagement efforts and actions, including school walkouts.

Park City School District supports students’ constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression; however, the role of our educators is to remain neutral, including when a walkout is held during contract time and on school property. 

Our goal in responding to student-initiated plans and other forms of peaceful assembly is to keep the focus on teaching and learning, while promoting student safety on campus.

If students do not return to class following any walkout, standard attendance rules for unexcused absences, truancies and tardies will apply. Classes will continue for students who choose not to participate in walkouts. Park City School District supports students’ rights to have varying opinions, and asks that there be respect for those opinions.

The first nationwide walkout is planned for Wednesday, March 14, and we anticipate some of our students will participate. Students will be supervised and law enforcement will be present.

Additional events are planned for March 24 (March for Our Lives), and April 20 (National School Walkout in remembrance of the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting).

Park City School District remains committed to a safe, neutral, learning environment for all students.

164 thoughts on “District Statement Concerning Student Walkouts”

  1. As an American, and a veteran I fully support the constitution and the rights provided by it. As a parent one of the major issues I see is students believe they have the rights to do whatever they want without consequence. Students are at school to learn and not to walk out when they like. If adults were to up and walkout of work whenever we decide we would eventually lose or jobs. Allowing this walkout to occur gives the wrong perception of life. Many students would also walkout just to get out of class.
    On another note, as a combat veteran as well as recent mass shootings allowing students to walkout and congregate in a large group is a major security risk. Safety and security for our kids should be our TOP priority over their choice to take a long break. I would like to greatly urge the school administration to rethink allowing this to happen. Effective safety and security can only be accomplished by first establishing respect for following the rules established.

    1. John, thank you for your comments. We agree that safety is our top priority during something like this. Law enforcement will be present. The event is 17 minutes long and students will be expected to return to class.

    2. According to this logic, we should ban football games, the bonfire, homecoming, prom and graduation. Additionally, school lunch should be canceled since large groups of students congregate in the lunchroom, too. Teaching children about standing up for what you believe, in a peaceful manner is an honorable goal. I guess you have never been in a union. Walking out is a pretty strong statement. The kids organinizung this are the brightest in our high school. Rather than lecture them, let’s support them. You fought for their right to participate in peaceful protests.
      I commend the school for supporting these students.

      1. Couldn’t have said it better Traci. The lack of respect for teens who have opinions bothers me. Allow them to voice their frustrations and opinions – pretty sure it’s good for their mental health to be able to have and voice opinions. Even if they disagree with adults.

      2. Why can’t they walk our during lunch time? This would at least demonstrate that they are willing to sacrifice something, as small as it is. When an employee is part of a union and walks out, they are sacrificing in large way. Unions members participating in a walk out are take huge risks, income and benefits,to hopefully make gain for community as whole. A walk out also hinders the institution that they are leaving. Teaching kids to walk out on schools is teaching them to punish the education institutions that, in my opinion they should be grateful to attend. Instead we could encourage them to take 17 minutes and write their congressman or the families victimized. Maybe even coordinate with officials, parents and media to collectively deliver their options and ideas. Why not organize a campaign? Maybe 17 days of acceptance and empathy? Teach them to be part of a solution.

          1. I am one of the students organizing the walkout.

            We did not pick this date and time ourselves, it was chosen by the students and survivors of the parkland shooting and it is a national event. I would argue that we are already sacrificing something much bigger than lunch and that is our peace of mind, because we are afraid to go to school. This walk out is not intended to punish our school at all, and the school understands this.

            Walkouts may temporarily hinder our school.

            But so do school shootings.

        1. Hi Julie,
          As a student who could be the next victim, I would just like to point out that by this logic, the problem is the victims, for not doing enough to accept these people. By this logic, they didn’t try hard enough not to get shot. I support and will participate in this protest because I believe that we should restrict guns through harsher background checks. Not only would this prevent the small margin that are actually mentally ill from getting these guns in the first place. In fact, the majority of the guns used in shootings were obtained legally, meaning this is a problem. It would also help restrict those with guns so powerful they could never compare to those initially legalized by the second amendment for the purpose of having a militia. Thank you

          1. Alicia,

            Read the letter from the teacher that I posted in this forum. You are basically so sure you are right on this issue that you don’t care if you alienate other students. You are unwilling to try to have an inclusive community – that’s par for the course for the left. And please read Heller. The 2nd amendment is not predicated on “the purpose of having a militia.” The Supreme Court has ruled on that issue. In fact, as I have mentioned elsewhere, the founders were not stupid – they knew more powerful weapons would be developed – and older Supreme Court rulings clearly support that the 2nd protects the right to military grade weapons.

      3. We wanted to stay out of this discussion/debate, but…We believe that our daughters are just as bright if not brighter than the teens ‘organinizung’ this event. You imply, Traci, that they are not because they will not walk out of their lessons like lambs next week to lie on the ground for 17 minutes. We’d gladly support those walking out, but have no idea what they are proposing – do the students even know? Our daughters don’t know – why should they walk out? Do the students organizing even understand the 2nd Amendment? (clearly some adults chiming in do not, so how could they?). ‘Gun control’ is a vague subject and has a very slippery slope – how about standing for school safety as Paul suggests, and many others might meet you halfway? We do like the recommendation of a lunchtime walk out, a sacrifice of sorts, so that our children and others are not disrupted (likely bullied) during that lesson. Sounds purely like a photo op for the local, and likely, national news, but with no proposed solutions that will actually solve the problem of gun violence in schools. What a lost opportunity!

        We do NOT commend the PCSD for dividing our students and this community. Stick to teaching pure academics – proper history and civics paramount – we are behind in the world! Leave the politics and activism to off-school time (or college where they will no doubt get it!). Preschoolers with parents marching – Really? Let them be kids. As CSN&Y said so profoundly, ‘Teach Your Children Well’. Teach real facts, not knee-jerk and emotional reactions to every incident. We all feel for those killed in school shootings and desperately want to find a solution, but there is simply no easy answer. The solution probably starts at home…imagine the teens and parents are not talking about that.

        1. Students know: it’s been announced in some classes, social media, and from peer to peer communication (If you know and your daughters don’t, tell them). Students are supporting gun regulatory legislation, Parkland High School announced that they want stricter gun laws. They’ve been proven to help (I can send you files of evidence to your email if you’d like). I understand your opposition to the political polarization that this may have caused, but simply speaking, student lives matter more than people heavily disagreeing on political issues. It saddens me that the non-student commentators who are against the walk out don’t understand that we are walking out because we want to feel safe.

          1. No, you are walking out because you have pre-decided that gun control is the right answer. It is not and there are certainly other opinions, but you have no respect for other opinions.

          2. Thank you, Adam, for taking the time to clarify this for me. Could you provide specifics on what gun regulatory legislation the students (or at least students like you) would like enacted, and perhaps link this proposed legislation to how it will make you safe in school? Some of us adults would really like to know and understand. Didn’t a Utah teen bring in a homemade bomb to school yesterday (thankfully caught before it detonated)? How do we stop that, or other ‘mentally ill’ students that wield knives, drive into crowds, etc…? Your heart is in the right place, but banning weapons will not keep you safe, quite the contrary – are you proposing a handgun ban too? All these things will stay in the hands of criminals even in ‘gun free’ zones. Criminals don’t follow the rules and certainly don’t care about legislation – and they wouldn’t mind selling an illegal weapon to a kid if the price was right. If a ‘mentally ill’ student wants to do harm to his or her classmates and teachers, he or she will certainly find a way. The best defense is a good offense. The top priority for adults is to keep our children safe; trust me, we worry about you all of the time. I honestly don’t care about the political polarization, but do care that any measures taken are constitutional, based on facts and not emotions, and that the measures will actually work.

          3. Adam, obviously you are becoming an educated young man thru school and social media. I am in no way doubting your intelligence and glad to see you taking a stand. I have a few questions for you:
            What research have you done to verify the source of the information you are going to provide other than I found it on the internet? The “Internet” only knows what some person tells it.

            What about the evidence that the armed school resource officer did not respond as he was supposed to do? He was armed and could have stopped the killer but not without a gun.

            Why do you think that strict gun control laws will better protect students?
            What about the major gun laws put in place when former President Reagan was shot? They required background checks, waiting periods, etc and have been in place for decades yet we still have shootings. Oh yeah you were not born yet.

            What about when 9/11 happened and the hijackers used knives and razor blades to hijack jet liners and crash them into buildings? We did not ban knives or razor blades. We increased security by adding more ARMED guards in the airports. The US military bases all over the US and abroad quickly switched from an open base where anyone could drive on to high security entrances with ID checks etc. These are places full of fully armed military personnel trained to protect us. They did not take guns away.

            And to go further back in history. In many wild west towns in the early development of our great country and particularly this area the law enforcement enacted laws banning all weapons inside the town limits. That put an end to all crime, correct?

            My original post to this was specifically pointed at the idea of some mass attack during the walkout. Ban guns, but how will that stop a bomber and especially a suicide bomber. How will that stop someone that decides to drive thru the crowd such as in England, Paris, and New York?

            You want to make schools safer than strive to increase security with more armed guards not reduce the number of honest people that can carry a gun. My wife is a teacher and has been for 20+ years. She cares for all of her students but I would not want her to be armed in the school. Not because of her ability or willingness but because teachers need to focus on teaching not guarding. Guards need to be focused on securing the area and not teaching.

    3. Thank you John – well said. And, thank you for your service! Sure I agree with allowing minors their constitutional rights, in the same way I believe in our constitutional right (one that “shall not be infringed” upon) called the Second Ammendment. I also hope that in the future, if the situation arises, the School District will be equally “accommodating” for such ideas as a group walking out in support of the NRA or the Young Republicans.

      1. They have nothing to walk out for, since it’s not a disruptive ideology. It’s the status quo. But if they want to, I have no opposition to this. There’s just no point to the majority opinion staging a walkout.

        1. They have nothing to walk out for? What about the desire to go to school without being afraid of for their life? This walk out is showing not only respect for the 17 people who lost their lives in the Parkland shooting but also to the large amount of kids killed in school shootings in the past year. We need some sort of security and sense of protection. This walk out represents a lot more than just skipping class or participating in the “status quo.” It is important for students to stand up and speak out for what they believe in, I am glad that the school supports this.

          1. Ally,

            A real sense of protection won’t come from gun control. The problem here is that you have concluded that gun control is the solution, but that is a naive conclusion. There are far more effective solutions, but apparently you have decided to ignore them. The answer here is to arm teachers and harden schools.

            California has extremely strong gun control laws, but that is not stopping killings and school shootings there.

      2. I disagree this is about respecting the children who were affected not promoting political beliefs. Also nobody is proposing that we should remove the second amendment or take away people guns they are proposing that we do more secure backround checks so that people who should not have guns don’t have them. Again nobody ever said we should take away the second amendment.

        1. In California, they have universal background checks. No loopholes. Does not seem like it is working there. Also, the groups supporting the national movement are certainly advocating for taking away guns. If this were about school safety, it would not be a gun control rally, it would be to support school safety.

      3. Hi Kurt,
        I believe in the Constitution too. I especially believe in first amendment, right to peaceful assembly. I believe the second amendment, in its full form, is not bad. As the second amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I believe in the right to form a militia and arm said militia but I have not seen a militia ever. This amendment is outdated and has no purpose today. It is inherently linked to a militia, and since those are now gone, I believe we should have gun control. This would not affect those who use guns responsibly, or anyone who isn’t a possible criminal. We are not removing all guns, we are restricting them.
        Thank you
        Alicia, a student

        1. Alicia, again, read Heller. You are misrepresenting what the 2nd means. And understand what the militia is – it is not gone. All I can really say to this is READ HELLER. It will help you understand the 2nd amendment.

          And a “possible criminal” – are we going to outlaw pre-crime?

    4. With all your respect sir, students are really passionate about this very controversial topic. We talk about issues like gun restrictions because adults don’t like taking about it. We students have learned a wonderful skill which is listening to both sides and not being bias. I truly appreciate your service for this country. I’m not saying your wrong but there’s two sides that need to be heard. If we don’t talk about issues like this, then are we going to? So many people have died in school shootings and we have a president who only knows how to tweet and play golf. We are the future of this country and if we want this country to remain “free” we need to listen to the kids.

      1. With all due respect, Anthony, you are biased and really could care less about listening to ‘both sides’. By bashing our President in your short rant, you proved that point, but I don’t blame you – teens are busy people that are easily swayed by the adults around them. I do applaud the fact that you care and want to make a difference. You probably don’t know that President Trump went to Parkland and met with students, teachers, parents, administrators and others to discuss how to stop school shootings. He then hosted a bipartisan group of governors to discuss the same. He is calling on lawmakers to strengthen background checks and to eliminate loopholes, to raise the age of purchase for certain weapons from 18 to 21, and to improve the services for the mentally ill – and of course, to not allow the mentally ill to own or purchase firearms. He is FOR arming teachers/administrators on a volunteer basis and FOR hardening schools. He is planning to sign an Executive Order to ban bump stocks, and has even said that weapons should be confiscated from individuals posing a threat prior to due process, thus enraging the NRA and many others, including myself. I guess you never saw this on CNN, MSNBC, Colbert, Kimmel, Yahoo, or any of the rest. If nothing else, he is a man of action, although I don’t personally agree that any of these measures will matter much. Where there is a will, there is a way. The issue of school violence goes well beyond gun control. Why are so many young people mentally ill? Broken families, drugs and alcohol, lack of faith, violent video games/movies, social media, lack of parental supervision, no consequences for bad behavior, no love…personally, I believe those things are at the root of the problem, but oh so difficult to fix as adults must actually look into the mirror. I guess you never saw any of this on CNN, MSNBC, Colbert, Kimmel, Yahoo, or any of the rest.

        1. Did Trump visit the other 17 high schools that have had shootings since the beginning of 2018? To be frank, you are not in high school, you cannot fully grasp the perspective of students. I understand you were a student at some point, but that was in a different time, nowadays students have ample information to make their own informed decisions, and many of us have decided that guns are unsafe in school. Hopefully you can understand how an assault weapon in a school (doesn’t matter in whose hands it’s in) is unsafe.

          1. Adam, it is so funny that you say that. You do realize that the people you are talking to not only have far more life experience, but they once were high school students.

            Based on your comment, police should never enter a school where there is an active shooter if they are carrying a rifle. Please, try to be realistic here. The people around you have experience – many actually know something about guns. Don’t assume you know better – the truth is that a far better approach would be to follow the advice of the letter from the teacher I posted and find a way to actually make your school safe – be inclusive and reach out to students who are marginalized. Instead, you are creating a highly divisive and non-inclusive environment. The exact opposite of what you claim you want to achieve.

          2. No, he did not, Adam. Should he have gone to this one? “Police reported that shots were fired from off school grounds at New Start High School outside Seattle. No one was injured.” Or this one? “A 14-year-old male student killed himself in the bathroom of an elementary school in Arizona.” Or this one? “A student was found dead on campus at a Jackson State University apartment. The man was reportedly handling a gun when it accidentally went off.” Or this one? “Police chased a bank robber onto the grounds of a high school in Vermont, where the suspect was shot and killed. The school went on lockdown. None of the students or staff were hurt.” I could go on. Those pesky facts, always in the way of a good agenda!

          3. Lisa, I am not sure what your point is. That school shootings are okay as long as only one person dies? That our students shouldn’t fear guns as long as they find out after the lockdown that no on was murdered?

            He didn’t call them mass murders. He called them school shootings. And after Columbine and Sandy Hook and Stoneman Douglas, it’s incredibly insensitive for you to mock our children’s fear when there is ANY shooting or lockdown or rumor of a gun on campus. Our children are being terrorized. There have been two lockouts so far this year at our high school. One of them because of some gun owner decided to draw his weapon on school grounds. Do you think that wasn’t terrifying for every student, teacher and parent???

            Every incidence of gun violence in our schools is a tragedy. And every moment of fear our children experience is on us because we’ve done nothing to reduce the number of guns in our society, and in Utah we allow people to carry them around like fetishized security blankets. Enough.

      2. With all due respect, Anthony, you are biased and really could care less about listening to ‘both sides’. By bashing our President, you proved that point, but I don’t blame you – teens are busy people that are easily swayed by the adults around them. I do applaud the fact that you care and want to make a difference. I’m not sure that you have seen on the news that President Trump went to Parkland and met with students, teachers, parents, administrators and others to discuss how to stop school shootings. He then hosted a bipartisan group of governors to discuss the same. He is calling on lawmakers to strengthen background checks and to eliminate loopholes, to raise the age of purchase for certain weapons from 18 to 21, and to improve the services for the mentally ill – and of course, to not allow the mentally ill to own or purchase firearms. He is FOR arming teachers/administrators on a volunteer basis and FOR hardening schools. He is planning to sign an Executive Order to ban bump stocks, and has even said that weapons should be confiscated from individuals posing a threat prior to due process, thus enraging the NRA and many others, including myself. If nothing else, he is a man of action, although I don’t personally agree that any of these measures will matter much. Where there is a will, there is a way. The issue of school violence goes well beyond gun control. Why are so many young people mentally ill? Broken families, drugs and alcohol, lack of faith, violent video games/movies, social media, lack of parental supervision, no consequences for bad behavior, no love…personally, I believe those things are the root of the problem, but oh so difficult to fix as adults must actually look in the mirror. I guess you didn’t see any of this on CNN, MSNBC, Colbert, Kimmel, Yahoo, or any of the rest.

          1. Victoria, I’m sorry I didn’t make my point clear (probably not to Adam either I’m afraid). All shootings that occur on school grounds are unfortunate and tragic, whether they arise from an accidental discharge, a suicidal teen wanting attention, a one-on-one conflict that escalates, a robbery, a police officer shooting a suspect on school grounds, a 3rd grader accidentally pulling the trigger of a school guard’s weapon, shots fired from outside the school premises, and in the worst cases – Parkland and the several other mass shootings at schools. Adam seemed to lump these all together and want a Presidential visit or response – these different cases do not warrant the same type of response, and guarantee the President has many other fish to fry, although school safety and sensible gun control are very high on his agenda.
            No, students should not fear guns – they should fear the students they know that may eventually pick up a gun (or whatever) to do them harm. And believe me, they know who they are. I do believe that the students and faculty should read the ‘teacher’ letter posted by Paul – awesome advice! The students should also fear the adults that think that banning guns will solve the issue. It only takes one child and one gun (or whatever) to do harm. We have 300 million+ guns in America – think only the good, responsible owners will turn them in? Don’t think so. I’m certainly not planning to, but I am a responsible gun owner. Be realistic. Goes back to life experiences which the students lack (and no, that is not a slam on them, simply on statement on their youth – wish I was young and could start again!).
            I would never mock our children’s fear but think that your statement that ‘they are being terrorized’ might be an emotional overstatement and an exaggeration. We do live in the bubble here.
            Kids in some parts of Illinois (namely Chicago) and New York and California and other inner cities are truly being terrorized and these places have the strongest gun measures in place. Unfortunately, the media doesn’t cover this or any of the statistics, so how exactly how are our kids to see both sides of the gun control issue?

    5. I absolutely agree with you!! Perhaps, instead of allowing or even promoting walk outs the school district should instead encourage the students to smile, talk, start a friendship with another student they normally would not have to and/or impact in a positive way the life of another. It is only learning to become better human beings that we can actually make a difference and prevent such horrible events from happening.

      1. Instead, the district is setting the stage for the exact opposite. I’ve already heard that my children are being asked “are you going, are you going?” – With the clear implication that if they don’t go, they don’t care about the kids at Parkland or elsewhere. The stage is set for exclusion, bullying and divisiveness. Great work PCSD.

        1. Paul as a student people have been respectful about who is going and who is not to blame the district for some thing that students did before the statement was released is ridiculous

          1. Chris,

            The exclusion has already started – by definition, the organizers created an event that is not inclusive. That’s on them.

          2. Chris – here’s something else. Read it – it is far more likely to be successful than the divisive actions of the organizers of this event. You and the others are doing the exact opposite of what this man suggests. You are making your school a divided and non-inclusive place. If you can’t see that, the future is not going to be good for this county.

            BY JACK RICCARDI

            Whoever this man is, his open letter to students thinking about walking out of school as a protest touched a nerve on our show. Here is the complete letter as I saw it:

            “Dear Students,
            I know you. I am a retired teacher of 24 years. I have taught you as 7th graders all the way through 12th grade. This is not a tweet or a text. It’s called a letter; lengthy and substantial. Do you really want to make a difference? Are you sincere about making your schools safe? Don’t walk out, read this instead. Walking out of school is easy compared to what this letter will challenge you to do.
            First of all, put down your stupid phone. Look around you at your classmates. Do you see the kid over in the corner, alone? He could likely be our next shooter. He needs a friend. He needs you. Go and talk to him, befriend him. Chances are, he won’t be easy to like, but it’s mainly because no one has tried to like him. Ask him about him. Get to know him. He’s just like you in that respect; he wants someone to recognize him as a fellow human being but few people have ever given him the chance. You can.
            Next, see that kid eating lunch all alone? He could likely be our next shooter. Invite him to eat lunch with you. Introduce him into your fold of friends. You’ll most likely catch a lot of flack from the friends you eat with because they don’t want him upsetting the balance of their social order. After all, who you hang out with is critical to your status, is it not? If status is important to you, don’t you think it’s important to him also? The only difference being that he has no status because generally, shooters have no friends. Are you serious about wanting to make your school safe? Invite him to your lunch table and challenge your friends to do something meaningful with thirty minutes of their lives each day.
            Lastly, are you completely frustrated by that kid who always disrupts your class and is consistently sent to the principal’s office? He could likely be our next shooter. Do you know why he causes so much trouble? He initiates disruption because that’s the only thing he does that gets him attention, and even bad attention is better than the no attention he receives from you and your classmates. You secretly wish he would get kicked out of school or sent to the alternative disciplinary school so that he wouldn’t disrupt your classes anymore, that somehow, he would just disappear. Guess what? He already feels invisible in a school of thousands of classmates, you included. So, before he acts out in your next class, why don’t you tell him you’d be willing to help him with the assignment that was just given? Or why don’t you ask him to join your study group? If you really want to blow his mind, ask him for help on the assignment. He’s never been asked that. Ever.
            If you’ve read this far, you probably really do care about the safety of your school. Don’t trust that walking out of school will bring an answer. Gun control or more laws is not, and will not, be the answer. You are the answer. Your greeting, your smile, your gentle human touch is the only thing that can change the world of a desperate classmate who may be contemplating something as horrendous as a school shooting. Look past yourself and look past your phone and look into the eyes of a student who no one else sees. Meet the gaze of a fellow human being desperate to make contact with anyone, even just one person. You. If you really feel the need to walk, walk toward that person. Your new friendship can relieve the heartache of one person and in doing so, possibly prevent the unjustifiable heartache of hundreds of lives in the future. I know you. I trust you. You are the answer.
            And teachers, my fellow guardians of our youth, I know you too. I know the desire of wanting to make a difference in a young person’s life. I know the thrill of stepping in front of a classroom of students but simultaneously intimidated by the trust bestowed upon you. I also know the crushing, sometimes unbearable responsibility that your shoulders are asked to carry. But that’s why you got into teaching, because you have big shoulders. And a big heart. You’re overworked (I would add underpaid, but you didn’t get into teaching for the pay, so it needn’t be said), underappreciated and exhausted. May I add one more item to that list? You’re also a miracle waiting to happen in the life of your worst student. He could likely be our next shooter. The next time (and there’s always a next time) he’s ready to wreak havoc in your classroom, I challenge you to pull him aside and ask him if he’s ok, if there is something bothering him and is there anything you can do to help? Your genuine concern for him may be just the miracle he’s looking for. The miracle we’re all looking for. I know you. I trust you. You are the answer.

            A former teacher who is as heartbroken as you and trusting you not to walk out on the real answer,
            David (yes, teachers really do have first names) Blair

        2. First of all, it wasn’t the kids in the PCSD that started the walk out. It was created by students in the Parkland shooting. I think it is very important for students to show their remorse and sorry for the lives lost. The people who choose no to participate are being respected and aren’t being bullied, but students should stand and fight TOGETHER. This is the future of our country and if you think missing 17 minutes of class is a big deal… just wait until they miss the rest of their lives. You never know when the next school shooting will be and you never know where. Gun reforms and school security are necessary.

          1. Ally – exactly the point I have made here already – this is not creative, individual thinking or leadership by the PCHS students – it is following others. Creative leadership would have focused on solidarity, not exclusion. School security is something everyone can get behind – gun control is not – and it is unconstitutional in many of its forms.

      2. Do you not think that schools do that now? No school encourages bullying, exclusivity, violence, etc. but has that stopped school shootings in the past. No so why would some adults telling kids to smile and talk more solve the amount of children’s lives lost to non controlled gun laws?

        1. Ally, I can assure you that these walkouts across the country have resulted in exclusion and bullying of students who don’t agree with the walkout. I am hopeful that PCHS will be the exception.

      3. Hi Melody,
        I understand that being a good person is a good idea. I also believe that people already try to do this. But, implying that this could all be solved with smiling and friendship not only is idealistic, but it implies that the students involved in school shootings and other mass shootings were to blame for not being nice. Sure, let’s be nice, but let’s also save lives, through proven techniques. We can also fund qualified therapists in schools to help those who can not afford to go to others. But first, let’s remove guns from those who shouldn’t have them. These shooters got their guns legally.

        1. Alicia, which shooters? Parkland? What about the other school shooters? The ones who obtained firearms illegally? Don’t you recognize that if someone wants to secure a gun, they will be able to do it whether legal or illegal? If someone is willing to murder, do you think they will respect laws prohibiting their ownership of guns?

    6. John as a student at the school I feel the need to explain to you why we kids are doing this, we feel as people that are also affected by school shootings that people have argued long enough and nothing has changed. So we feel it is time for us to get involved. Just because we are kids doesn’t mean we don’t have valuable beliefs and views. And though a few kids may use this as an opportunity to skip school almost all of us truly believe that we should respect school shooting victims and are using this opportunity to be heard. I think that discouraging students from doing this would prevent us from aiding this issue and being heard.

      1. I’m certainly not arguing that students should not be heard – what I’m saying is that this entire walkout was created by students who have flatly prejudged the issue. They have concluded that gun control is the only solution. Why is this not about school safety? Because the organizers, in their infinite wisdom, have concluded that there is no other way to improve the situation other than gun control. According to the organizers, only by punishing innocent civilians can we solve these issues and if you disagree with us, then you should not be heard. The organizers – by their very actions – are actually exacerbating the problem. They are marginalizing students who don’t agree with them.

        Where is the call for arming more teachers? Where is the call for hardening the school? Where is the recognition that PCSD has already allocated millions to school safety and has been ranked number 1 in the state for safety? Why not build on that rather than take away rights?

        This is fundamentally what is wrong with the liberal view – they support rights for individuals, except when it comes to gun rights. I support rights for individuals for all of the typical liberal causes and for gun rights. It is the right thing to do.

        And the fact that this is all in response to Parkland – yes it is terrible that so many were killed and injured, but unlike many of the other shootings where there were few or no warning signs, the police flatly failed to stop it before it happened and they flatly failed to engage and reduce the casualty numbers. Parkland should be the point at which we focus on prevention and law enforcement competency – not create a divisive environment conducive to shaming and bullying. That is what this walkout is going to do – its going to create more alienation, which is the exact thing we should be working to avoid.

        But for most liberals, that’s all OK – because the targets of alienation don’t agree with them and so don’t deserve to be treated fairly.

        1. The reason, to me, that this is not about improving school safety is because the Parkland shooting and other mass killings in schools are not the only incidents of gun violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 33,000 people are killed due to gun violence in the United States every year, and deaths in schools are a very small portion of these. Additionally, according to a report (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211925/) published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, only 4% of gun violence perpetrators suffer from a serious mental illness, which suggests to me that we cannot pursue solutions based solely on mental health (which, as an aside, I support allocating more resources to, just not because of gun violence).

          Considering there are many more issues relating to gun violence than school shootings, and addressing mental illnesses will not combat the vast majority of gun violence incidents, I must support gun control. This does not mean I support repeal of the 2nd Amendment, but I must support solutions like waiting periods and an assault weapons ban to ensure that we put as big of a dent in the 33,000 annual deaths as possible. This should not be a liberal versus conservative issue, and I don’t support any move to make it one; it should be a life versus death issue.

          I will walk out next week.

          1. Adam, as I have mentioned elsewhere, 2/3 of the gun deaths are suicides. A focus on suicide prevention would be far more effective than gun control. 4% is not the right number if you are using 33,000. The 4% is only calculated after suicides are removed. Read the study you cited – it says that when looking at suicide the rate of mental health issues are vastly higher (which makes sense).

            And – given your political views and your intelligence – I find it surprising that you support a very divisive activity. I’m surprised that you don’t support a walkout that would be very inclusive and would reach out to students who feel marginalized. Be a leader – actually try to create a school environment that is inclusive and welcoming. We all know that the typical shooter profile is someone who has felt marginalized.

            It is a life versus death issue. Guns are used far more to protect life than they are to take it. Look at the research – even the most liberal studies show that defensive gun uses exceed deaths many times over. And – read what I wrote elsewhere. In countries like Australia – violent crime is way up after gun control. Is that really what you want?

            Plus, there is little chance that gun control will actually pass – so why not try approaches that can and will work and lead to an inclusive and welcoming school environment?

          1. Alicia,

            That article ignores the cultural differences between the US and other countries. Countries that have banned guns have not had significant reductions in suicide rates. They have had significant reductions in suicide by gun, but does that matter if the suicide rates remains stable or increases?

  2. Thank you PCSD for supporting our students constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

  3. I am not a constitutional lawyer or lawyer of any sort. I do not believe /or know if minors have a constitutional right to walk out of school. As a parent of a third grader I would personally prefer my child not be confronted with such decisions. I do believe that ignorance is bliss in this case. Lastly, why are our children having to do what we as parents are not?

      1. Adam, please read the case. As I cited elsewhere – you don’t give up your constitutional rights when you go to school, but Tinker expressly states that you don’t have a right to disrupt school. So no, you don’t have a right to walk out. Period.

        “But conduct by the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason—whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior—materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.”

        1. I’m sorry, are you saying that walking out of class for 17 MINUTES is more disrupful than say… a shooting coming into school and open firing?
          Maybe students wouldn’t have to walk out of class and stand up for what is right if adults had done this in the past. Maybe if we had laws protecting the possession of guns then a man would not have been about to purchase 24 automatic salt rifles and injure 851 people (59 deaths) in Vegas on October 1, 2017. Gun violence is a huge issue, not only in schools. That’s why we need gun control!! Adding more guns only piles onto the violence, TAKING THEM AWAY decreases the amount of shootings and killings.

          1. Ally,

            Of course not. I’m simply referencing the standard for free speech in public schools. You have no right to disrupt classwork, but that’s what you did today. Unlike adults who are not in school, your rights are somewhat limited. That’s not my opinion, that’s the law.

    1. Cecilia, yes something needs to be done. And perhaps there are a number of solutions – not just one. There needs to be respectable discourse by all the stakeholders (regardless of affiliation) to come up with the most reasonable and logical solution; not the knee jerk, emotionally driven solution.

  4. PCSD – Thank you for supporting our students….It seems that our generation will fail to address these tragedies in any meaningful way, my hopes are that our children’s generation will succeed. Kids you are the future! Be strong, be brave and create change.

  5. Thanks for keeping an open mind AND keeping my fine son SAFE. I am a veteran… as well… and I am JUST FINE with my kids going to school and then engaging in protest. Honestly I think seventeen minutes isn’t exactly freedom of expression – BUT – you’re trying AND I appreciate it.

  6. This is a learning opportunity for our kids, that they have a voice and can effect change. What the students from Parkland Florida have done has put this issue directly in front of lawmakers and since nothing has been done as of yet these walkouts are important keep student safety a priority to Washington Lawmakers. I support the students in these walkouts and I hope the teachers discuss both sides of the issue in classes to follow.

  7. Is part of this supported walkout going to be coming up with solutions for safety because, frankly, protesting in the abstract does not have any lasting impact and actually coming up with viable community driven solutions and implementing them does. It strikes me that the district could apply that 17 minutes to a think tank type of situation in every class, gather the input and see what types of ideas the kids offer- might be interesting and fruitful.

    1. Great Idea Julie. Take the 17 minutes and have every class come up with possible ideas to make the schools a safer place.

        1. Gun control is NOT the answer. It is illegal to speed, do drugs, drive drunk etc etc. Yet they all kill people.

          1. And all of those things are regulated!!! And none kill in the numbers that one gun can do. Gun control is the only answer.

          2. Traci – driving and drugs don’t kill the numbers of people that guns do? Do you really believe that? Can we please actually stick to facts? The federal government says that over 64,000 people died of drug overdoses.

            https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates

            There are about 38,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. Most gun-related deaths — about two-thirds —in America are suicides. About 11,000 homicides with guns. So any way you look at it, you are wrong.

            And while speeding, drugs and drunk driving are regulated, they are also not constitutional rights.

          3. Thank You John and Paul. To often we overlook the underlying problem that can be controlled or prevented and that is the mental health issue. We will never rid society of guns, its a fact. Even the Australian required gun “buy back” only removed 1/3 of their guns and then home invasions went up 21% the following years. It did nothing to solve the mental health of those who want to to harm another. I love our law enforcement but I do not expect them to take care of me in a life or death situation such as a mass shooting, home invasion, or terror act – after all they have families that they need to go home to also. A Utopian society will self regulate and individual accountability/actions are the root of achieving this goal – not gun regulations. Instead of spending billions fighting and debating the gun issue we can use those resources and energy in helping people and making our schools safe.

    2. Julie- the protest is a way for students to show solidarity and support for gun control, as well as a way to continue the conversation around the gun laws in this country. It’s a way for us to take action even if we aren’t all able to vote. However, we recognize that a walkout in itself doesn’t change much, which is why we will also be handing out business cards with the phone numbers for our Utah senators and information on how to register to vote for those who are 18.

      1. Thank you so much Faith for the informative response. Sounds like important info to have and a good start. my child is planning to attend, a choice which I support, and we hope it is far more than an basic, ranting, anti-gun raly, but is a true show of solidarity for all the victims and families, as well as the beginning of a meeting of minds that strives to generate ideas, plans and solutions….potentially tangible directions that we as parents and students can follow to make our local schools not only safer, but more secure and respectful environments, places where the fear of these events recede. My hope as a parent is that this event galvanizes our community into action beyond the expected polarized word slinging, but takes stock of the information we gain and makes safety improvements and cultural changes in the community based on what we learn from the kids, staff and each other.

      2. Quick question Faith, are you going to hand out cards from ALL Utah Senators or just the ones that support gun control?

        1. Hi John,
          I am not Faith, but I do know that we are handing out the cards for whomever we may be constituents for, so that we can talk to those who specifically are part of our district.
          Alicia, a student.

  8. Respectfully, without the freedoms, tolerance and support related to free speech and assembly – that armed service members gratefully defend (thank you John) – women would still not have the right to vote or own property; schools would still be segregated; servicemen and women might still be dying for an empty geo-political agenda in Vietnam.

    It has always, unfortunately, always fallen on the voices of young people to create collective national and global movements that produce meaningful change. See this link for more context: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/opinion/go-ahead-millennials-destroy-us.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

    Thank you PCSD for being supportive of students’ desire to stand up and be heard. We appreciate and trust in your efforts to keep everyone safe while making an important and unified national statement.

  9. Thank you for putting out such a thoughtful statement. There’s nothing more important we can teach our children than to stand up for what’s right and to speak truth to power. There will be a large group of us pulling our young children out of preschool to walk out alongside these students in a show of support.

      1. That is a very interesting statement. You are not sanctioning this but you are telling the public NOT to attend. That goes directly against your original statement to support the right to assemble and the right of freedom of expression. If you are not sanctioning it then how are you making rules for it

        1. John, the students organized this for students. The community event is on March 24. The school district did not create this: we did.

          Blame us.

  10. I feel you are creating a very UNSAFE environment for my child and others by the school administration sanctioning and supporting this protest. I would like to know the exact agenda for this 17 minute protest. What will go on besides hundreds of teenagers messing around. I would also like to point out that law enforcement was present at the Parkland, Florida shooting, the mass Vegas shooting, the bombing at Boston Marathon. Law enforcement has been present at most if not all of the mass shootings. This is nothing against law enforcement. They do a great job. If someone if willing to give up there life for yours the only way to stop them is take theirs first. What measures are being put in place to stop long range sniper fire, car bombs, etc? What measures are in place to stop students getting out of hand and rioting as we have seen all over the country the past few years?

    I am not trying to sound like a crazy person but these are things that must be considered above all else to provide a safe space for our children.

    1. The administration is not sanctioning the walkout. We know it will happen and are simply trying to supports students’ constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression. The student leaders are well organized and feel this is something they want to do. Thank you for your input and concerns for the safety of our students. We continue to meet and discuss all the possibilities surrounding these national events.

      1. Melinda – will you allow peaceful assembly and free expression in the form of a walkout for gun rights?

        And let’s be perfectly clear – you know as well as I do that students don’t have the right to walkout – it is not a constitutional right (although now I think you will be hard pressed to stop any student for walking out on any freedom of speech basis). They certainly don’t “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate,” but walking out certainly is beyond what they are allowed to do. “But conduct by the student, in class or out of it, which for any reason—whether it stems from time, place, or type of behavior—materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasion of the rights of others is, of course, not immunized by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.” See Tinker v. Des Moines School. Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969). Certainly walking out “materially disrupts classwork.”

    2. John, I understand your concern. This issue has been weighing constantly on my mind since the Parkland tragedy and even more since my daughter told me about the protest. But I assure you that not all of the kids who will be participating will be “teenagers messing around “. This protest has opened up important dialogue at our dinner table and at other dinner tables as well. My daughter has written our legislators about her concerns on gun safety and is trying to be proactive about the direction of this country of which she is a citizen. I feel like this is an excellent opportunity for these kids to learn about the foundations of our country which include both the 1st amendment and 2 nd amendment and how to have a civil dialogue. I have seen so many adults much older than these kids having very uncivil dialogues on social media so I hope these kids will learn to be the better generation. I hope they will learn to speak with thoughtfulness and civility and learn the power of a peaceful protest in this country. Peaceful protest is one of the gifts of this country that could never happen in more oppressive countries. – I hope this protest will lead to discussions at school on thoughtfulness, seeing both sides of an issue, problem solving, law making, foundations of US history, etc. Whether kids choose to protest or remain in class, I feel like it is important to take their voices seriously. They are our future.

    3. Hi John- first of all, the event is completely student organized and not school sanctioned. We (students) have been cooperating and communicating with the police and the school administrators to make sure it is as safe as can be. To answer your question about what exactly students will be doing during the walkout: we will be staging a “die-in” and lying down on the ground. Each minute we will read our the location, number and deaths, and date of the 16 largest mass shootings in the US. It will be a peaceful protest. The last one we will read out will be Parkland, and after that we will all stand up and go back to class. It won’t just be teenagers messing around 🙂 Additionally, as horrible as it would be, a mass shooting at a gun control walkout would be pretty telling of how badly we need better gun regulation.
      Thanks,
      – Faith Staley, student organizer

      1. Faith, Traci, & Serena,
        If you promote more gun control and I would assume the removal of all guns from the civilian population why did you call law enforcement (those with guns) to come keep you safe. You blame GUNS for all the problems then why do you invite them. My issue with the walkout is NOT about gun control either way. It is about the extreme security risk created. How many of you have ever performed actual security on large groups of people? I have.

        1. Hi John,
          First, we aren’t arguing for all guns to be removed, just that laws be stricter. Second, I am blaming guns because I have yet to ever see 17 killed from a stabbing, or anything of the sort. Please understand we appreciate law enforcement for protecting us in case people decide to do anything radical, and we are not trying to shame them for owning guns.

    4. If law enforcement is doing a great job, then why are they still school shootings constantly happening? Government is doing nothing to help this issue, it’s time for students to take a stand and no matter what anyone says… the walkout is happening and we will be heard; simple as that.

    5. If law enforcement is doing a great job, then why are they still school shootings constantly happening? Government is doing nothing to help this issue, it’s time for students to take a stand and no matter what anyone says… the walkout is going to happen and we will be heard; simple as that.

    1. It has nothing to do with marijuana. It is the 19th anniversary of Columbine. Those shooters picked the date.

  11. I agree with Mr. Willis to a point. As a parent, I send my children to school to learn. At home I do my best as a parent to teach responsibility, respect, and kindness. Their responsibility is to attend class listen to the teacher, and do the work assigned. In this case, I believe that that if they want to peacefully protest they can, but not during school. I think it best done after school with parent supervision. If there is a National walkout for rememberance of the Columbine, and it is supervised that should be enough. And o expect my child, if he/she chooses to participate,that he/she follows direction during the event, and returns to class afterwards.afterwards. You can be sure we will have a discussion about this this evening.

    1. Hi Laura-
      The parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School also sent their kids to school to learn, listen to the teacher, and do the work assigned. As did the parents of students in Columbine High School and Sandy Hook elementary school.
      I agree that our responsibility as students should be to learn. As parents and teachers, your first responsibility is to keep students safe. However when our guardians have failed to protect us as students, we take that duty upon ourselves.
      The reason we’ve chosen a walkout during school hours as our form of protest is to remind everyone that these mass shootings also happen during school hours, and they are infinitely more disruptive and destructive than a peaceful walkout. We think it’s powerful to highlight these parallels because te next school shouting could easily be at PCHS. People should have to ask themselves which they would rather do – support stricter gun legislation or take the chance that it’s their kid next.
      I disagree that one event (eg. a Columbine remembrance march) is enough. Continued events ensure that the gun control debate stays in the news cycle and conversations continue to happen.
      Thank you for your commitment to have a conversation with your family.
      I hope this has answered some of your questions.
      -Faith (student organizer of the walkout)

      1. Faith,
        All parents want their children and others to be safe. The worse thing for a parent is to lose a child. The reason school shootings continue to occur is because many in our society believe that gun are evil and only used for bad. If parents were allowed more control at the schools then there would be more ARMED guards thus providing a safer and more secure environment. Look at the president and I mean ALL presidents. They are surrounded by highly trained and heavily armed security at all times and that is how they stay safe.

        1. Hello again John,
          Have you ever heard of police brutality? More guns have not provided less violence. Unless each person has a respective armed guard, it would not be equivalent to the president. See above for elaboration.

  12. Parents, teachers, administrators — and especially students have a lot to process after Parkland.
    I appreciate and support the official school approach with this walkout: maintain the attendance policy, without overreacting to the students who choose to make a statement—to express their frustration by walking out of class for 15 mins.

    Anybody who’s ever stood up/stood out for something knows that doing so comes with consequences. This walkout is all part of finding out who you are and what you to stand for— or against.

    Likewise, those who choose a different path next week, and decide to stay in class, will do so for equally legitimate and complex reasons. Nor harm, no foul. Let it be!

  13. Who is affected by a student walk out? Who is their statement heard by? For what change do they seek? None of the answers addresses the real issue! Why do some believe killing people is OK? An object does not make someone want to kill, something inside them does. Can teenagers of this generation understand how a deviate mind justifies the killing of innocence? Do they or we have the courage to address this in public. Do we dare take away their games, movies, and phones in hopes of reversing their desensitization to others and understand consequences.

    As society, let’s teach our children to seek truth and ask and address the tough questions associated to the evils in society rather than politicize constitutional rights. Let’s not let them be used as political tools by either side.

    1. Hi Jon-
      I appreciate you concern and agree that helping teens learn about good mental health is important.
      I’d just like to clarify that no adult is using students as political pawns – this walkout is entirely student organized.
      Thanks,
      Faith (student organizer)

  14. Several people opposed to these walkouts suggest that their children should not be forced to participate, and that the walkout creates an unsafe situation for their children. I think that this misunderstands the school’s position. Some kids will attend the walkout and others won’t. All will be kept safe. If you don’t want your kid to attend, tell them not to attend. Problem solved.

  15. I am sure there will be no bullying of those that do or do not attend. Because teenagers always choose the right path. If I tell my son not to participate then he will be viewed by others as someone that doesn’t care or whatever else teenagers come up with. This walk out if based on political sides. Support or not for gun control. The public school system is a non-profit tax exempt therefore it is not allowed to support political agendas. I am truly thinking of not allowing my son to attend school that day because he will be forced to pick a side. And if it is not the politically correct decision by a 15 year old then he will be picked on about it. Lets be honest these are KIDS!! Kids can be mean, they have not learned to filter their mouth.

    1. These are high school students. The ones organizing are intelligent and considerate. If you would like to keep your son home that is your choice as a parent. Many juniors and seniors will be old enough to vote in November. So they can be trusted to vote but not monitor their own speech? You have very little regard for so many smart students.

      1. I appreciate the statement put out by the school body, and fully support and applaud those students who choose to march.
        30,000 dead per year…these are figures you expect in a war zone, not in a so called civilized country. You can say it’s a mental health issue solely, but then why is this not happening anywhere else on this scale?
        Instead of threatening and punishing our children we should be supporting their right not to be shot to death on school premises! They are standing up, because we the adults are doing nothing!
        How many more kids need to die at school before something is done?

        1. Actually, the relevant number is about 1/3rd of that – the vast majority of that 1/3rd are committed by gang members in inner cities. A tiny fraction of the number is related to schools. Gun control is not the solution – it won’t fix the problem. The problem is multi-faceted and far harder to solve than gun control advocates would have you believe. A far better solution is to harden the school and arm the staff.

          Also, it does happen elsewhere. https://crimeresearch.org/2015/06/comparing-death-rates-from-mass-public-shootings-in-the-us-and-europe/

          1. Seriously, that research center is a right sided organization that is against gun control and immigration. Not a non biased researcher.

          1. Faith,
            Again you have proven your one sided attitude. You thank Martin and Tracy for their opinions but Paul provided factual information and a reference to his information and you totally disregard it.

      2. Ma’am, You are correct. These are high school students. As a very intelligent and educated person myself I have a lot of regard for intelligence. But educated is something you get by attending school. Intelligence is a combination of education and LIFE. The understanding of what rights are and are NOT. Some of the most intelligent individuals in history were socially ignorant. Turning 18 years old does not you are a fully functioning and productive member of the ADULT world. At 18 years of age I was allowed to vote and I was also required to sign up for the draft. At 18 years old I was allowed to make the decision to serve this country in the military. This also allowed me to sign a blank check for my life and to defend the safety and security of everyone in America. But I was not allowed to buy an alcoholic drink. I was not allowed to rent a car. Out of all of those things I was only able to make a decision based on my education and life experiences. Yes they are ALLOWED to vote, trust is really stretching it, and they are NOT good at monitoring their own speech. If these are truly intelligent and considerate students organizing this then they have taken into consideration EVERY students thoughts and opinions on this subject and walkout or just the ones of those that think the way they do. At the age of 18 they have spent a mere drop in the bucket of life and no they do not have the intelligence to make decision on the best policies for this country no matter their side.

          1. I am not completely against raising the age to buy a gun. But as we have raised the age for buying alcohol, cigarettes, and many other things in the country. How many have accomplished the original intent? NONE!! Many of the school shootings that have happened are from people under the age of 18 and could not legally purchase a firearm yet they were able to.
            Hannah,
            I am truly sorry you are scared to go to school. If I could provide for my family and spend my day patrolling to school armed to the teeth to provide better security for all kids not just mine I would be there. YOU are the person that should be speaking out but not about gun control but about providing a more secure facility. My heart goes out to you.

        1. The reason those facts were disregarded was because of a bias. A bias conflicts with facts. The facts are kids are dying because of guns.
          Thanks,
          An “immature” junior

  16. While we all support making schools safer, I’m sure we don’t all agree how to make them safer. I can tell you that my child will not support a walkout that supports “gun control” – which is what this is. If it were a walkout that supports “school safety,” then everyone could get on board. In fact, will the school support a “gun rights” walkout? If students walk out on another day to support gun rights, will they be forgiven for ditching? Will the school support a counter-protest in favor of gun rights? Summit County is ranked 5th in the nation for gun ownership. I can assure you that there are lots of parents and lots of kids that support gun rights. How about a protest to support arming teachers (although they are already allowed to be armed in Utah). But I suppose students could protest to support allowing teachers in Florida to be armed.

    And really, where do we draw the line? Is this being allowed because it directly impacts schools? Or students? How about a protest against laws that allow high school aged kids to have abortions or a protest about the driving age, or drinking age? How does the school decide that one issue or position is acceptable and one is not acceptable. In Utah, an 18 year old can obtain a concealed weapons permit – but until they are 21, they can’t carry on a school campus. Would the school support a walk out objecting to that limitation?

    Does it make sense to divide the school and divide the community in this manner?

    1. If your children want to do the work to organize a protest – discussing it with students, teachers and administration – then go for it!! Your child can do their own thing for guns or abortions or whatever. If they take the time to educate themselves and others. Awesome. This is about these kids making a statement and exercising their right to protest peacefully. Again, your kids can do the same and I am sure that PCSD will support them. This is about gun control and these kids are the future. Maybe not here in Utah, but we are behind in most things. So, it will happen it is just a matter of time.
      As for 18 year olds not being smart enough to understand the issues and the world we live in – that is unbelievably condescending. Thank you for your service but that does not give you the right to
      Use it as a shield for righteousness. My children are mature, wise, well read and make good decisions. I am sorry that you feel your child is not up to that, but you should not judge all of these students on your perception of your son. These kids will march, be considerate and have their voices heard. You do not have to like it.

      1. Traci – I don’t have an issue with anyone protesting or having a voice – I do have a problem with discrimination. I support the entire constitution – do you?

        Utah is not behind in this regard – it is ahead. Gun rights have massively expanded in the United States in the past 20 years and states like Utah are leading the way.

        Something tells me that if there was a pro-gun walkout, the school would not treat it in the same way as it is treating this walk out. If that is the case, then they should not sanction this one.

        And what makes you believe that any student at PCHS has been involved in planning this walkout? Gun control groups are planning it.

        1. Because I know all of the kids that have worked really hard to get this walkout up and running. They have gone to the city and the administration to get all of the permits. Please do not comment on something you clearly have no knowledge of. As for gun rights – they have those every single day.

          1. You cannot deny that the national march is driven by gun control groups. And really, what permits are available for ditching school – that does not exist.

        2. Hi Paul!
          Just wanted to clarify – this walkout is in fact entirely student organized. I’m a senior at PCHS and an organizer of the walkout and I can assure you that we’re not being paid, bribed, or taken advantage of by any groups with exterior motives 🙂
          (However, the same cannot be said about Congress, thanks to the NRA.)
          Students are fed up with the inaction from our government while our peers and fellow citizens continue to die. Gun control is the only way we can see to end the issue.
          Thanks,
          Faith

          1. Faith – I did not say you are being paid or bribed, but you need to look closely regarding the taken advantage of part. It can be hard as a young person to see the entire picture. I was raised by an exceptionally liberal family and I was fully committed. And I remain very liberal. It is just that I believe the liberal view is wrong on gun control. As I have written elsewhere here, anyone who supports unenumerated rights (those that are not specifically written out in the constitution) such as the right of same sex couples to be married, the right of people of different races to marry (yes that used to be illegal in some states), the right to make decisions about one’s own body, the right to send your children to private school, and many other rights, should be very careful when attacking an enumerated right. If you want to support those that are unwritten, it is inconsistent to attack those that are written.

            I strongly support all constitutional rights.

            Have you considered that the walkout would make more sense if it were a walkout for school safety, not gun control?

            Do you think it makes sense to punish a group of people when only one of them does something wrong? That is what gun control does – it removes rights from innocent citizens when they have done nothing wrong.

            The truth is that gun control will not stop killings at schools. California has extremely strict gun control and continues to have mass shootings – at a rate far higher than Utah (adjusting for population). But in Utah, adults can carry guns almost everywhere (and they do), including PCHS. There are very few places that guns are not allowed (post offices, secured areas of police stations and airports, mental health facilities).

            To be clear, there is no path to an absolute ban on guns – the constitution won’t allow it. And if you impose laws banning certain guns, only the law abiding will follow them. That means that only criminals will have those guns – and law abiding citizens will have no ability to defend themselves from the criminals. Read the other things I have posed here – and really think about it. Actually consider that you are lucky to live in a state where your teachers can defend your life (if they are so inclined) while students in other states (like Florida) are left defenseless against threats.

            As I said elsewhere, the worst school massacre in US history occurred in 1927 – this is not something that has just started.

          2. I am so incredibly proud of Faith and the other students. We have let them down and not kept them safe, and they deserve to stand up for their lives especially when we’ve failed to.

            As for the Second Amendment, it is a limited right, as are all of our rights. We have a right to free speech, but not if that speech puts lives at risk. You cannot threaten to kill people or incite riots or shout hate speech into a mob as those WORDS are considered dangerous.

            Of course the Second Amendment can be limited. It already is. That’s why you have to apply to own a machine gun & you must keep it registered with the ATF. Is that oppression? The truth is that the Second Amendment was limited from the start. In Massachusetts, all arms were presented for inspection and a record of arms was kept by the state (because the guns were meant to be used for that pesky well-regulated militia. If you’re protesting against gun control, you should also be protesting our standing army.). Boston outlawed the storing of ANY loaded weapons in any home or building starting in 1780. New York allowed only a limited amount of powder to be stored in homes, and the rest had to be deposited at an armory under control of the state because they didn’t want the public put in danger by overzealous powder enthusiasts. MANY states outlawed concealed carry in the early 19th century because they considered it cowardly & devious. The Tennessee Supreme Court upheld a ban of concealed weapons in 1838, declaring “the Legislature intended to abolish these most dangerous weapons entirely from use.”And of course, many frontier towns made people turn in guns at the sheriff’s office in order to keep the peace. Even the NRA fought to outlaw machine guns back when the group actually represented hunters and not the gun industry.

            You can dislike the limitations, but please don’t lie to these students and tell them the Second Amendment CAN’T be limited. It is and always has been. The voters help to determine how it is limited. And there is a whole new crop of voters coming up.

          3. Victoria,

            First, it is refreshing to see a thoughtful response to this discussion rather than name-calling. You are correct that there have been restrictions placed on the 2nd Amendment. During the 20th century in particular, the 2nd Amendment was a discredited right. That said, none of the cases or statutes you have referred to recognized the individual nature of the 2nd Amendment. As you probably are aware, the Heller court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right. Voters can’t override rights – we don’t live in a pure democracy. We live in a representative democracy. The United States is the prime example of this form of government and our constitution is designed to prevent the tyranny of the majority.

            Certainly Massachusetts inspected – but not because arms were limited to use in a militia – but because citizens were required to be prepared. It is a false comparison to what you are implying (that is, that all guns should be registered or inspected by the government). It is far more comparable to laws in certain counties in the US that require every household to own a gun.

            I don’t disagree with your comment on a standing army – there is no dispute that the founders would be absolutely horrified that we have a standing army. But I suspect that if they found out we had a standing army, they would take some solace in the fact that individuals continue to have the right to own arms.

            Probably the main issue with you references is that none of them remain valid (for these purposes, with the exception of the Gun Control Act of 1968). You point out actions by states and cities that occurred before the 2nd Amendment applied to them. I’m not going to go into a full discussion of incorporation, but the 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868 – well after your referenced cases. The 14th Amendment was a response to the civil war – to ensure that the Bill of Rights applied to the states and their subdivisions. And as I have mentioned elsewhere, the 14th Amendment is a core basis for the expansion of constitutional rights we have seen in other areas – rights that I support and that I would never want to undermine by undermining the 2nd Amendment and incorporation.

            As for the Gun Control Acts of 1934 and 1968 (and 1986) – many do believe that they are unconstitutional. That’s not a lie – its a point of view. One that I am entitled to and that is strongly held by many Americans. Calling my point of view a lie, is, well, a lie. I’ve never said that limitations have not happened, just that they shouldn’t have.

            Also, it is tiring to hear people claim the the NRA just represents the gun industry. I’ve never been a member, but recent events have really made me consider it for the first time in my life. The NRA has over 5 million members and tens of millions of people support their views. The fact that they make political choices to “support” gun control when they think that is the best way to avoid far more restrictive laws is not evidence that they were previously gun control supporters. Their apparent support for a bump stock ban at a regulatory level to avoid legislative action is pretty comparable to their “support” for the Gun Control Acts of 1934 and 1968. 1934, in its original form, would have banned all semi-automatic guns – which today probably represent 90% of firearms (at least 90% of new firearms).

            I know several people who have joined the NRA in the past few weeks in response to the corporate boycott and the attacks by the left.

            The bottom line is that we disagree. I believe that rights are important – all rights. There is also strong evidence that gun bans result in more crime – because only criminals have guns and only law abiding citizens follow those laws (see my other posts).

            The unfortunate part is the intolerance of the left – if you don’t agree with the left on every issue – in their view it is ok to shame you and they consider you less of a person because you are WRONG. That’s not the way a debate should work and the left should stop ascribing motives to those that are opposed to gun control.

            I hope I am pleasantly surprised by the students at PCHS, but it is far more likely that they will be intolerant of students who disagree with them. That’s the hallmark of the left and the fact that they have organized a gun control walkout rather than a school safety walkout is evidence they have pre-decided this issue.

          4. Paul, I see you have devolved into arguing that the left is intolerant (because the right has never called other people’s beliefs wrong?) despite that you complimented me on a “thoughtful response to this discussion rather than name-calling.” You might want to sit down and think about that for a little while. You might want to sit down & consider that you support an organization whose rallying cry is “You can pry my guns from my cold, dead hands” or some other version of “I’d like to see them try to take my guns away!” Or the ever popular, “We need guns to fight the tyranny of our own government.” (Hint: they’re talking about shooting police and soldiers.) Is that the tolerance you admire? Check yourself.

            Of course voters help to determine our laws. We vote in our representatives based on their beliefs & which laws they will support. Our representatives help determine which judges interpret the Constitution. This generation will get to decide for themselves what the Second Amendment means to ALL of us. It doesn’t say anything about only applying to NRA supporters. It is OUR Second Amendment. Voters can even decide to do away with it altogether.

            The NRA has 5 million members because most gun ranges are insured by the NRA and require that you join the NRA in order to practice shooting. It’s a practical decision. No one wants to own a gun they can’t use. And you can imagine how difficult it is for gun ranges to get insurance without being underwritten by the industry’s organization. https://www.quora.com/Why-do-I-need-to-join-the-NRA-to-use-a-club-range
            In fact, most gun owners support stronger background checks and waiting periods and restrictions on certain gun sales. The NRA does not.

            Here’s a great (and frightening) article about how the NRA evolved from representing members to representing the industry. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856

            I support your right to believe that gun control laws passed after the 14th Amendment are not constitutional. As most of those laws haven’t been overturned, I assume the Supreme Court disagrees with you. Scalia himself said that the right to buy weapons is not unlimited. But Heller overturned centuries of precedent regarding the Second Amendment. It can be overturned as well. And I assume you will respect any new rulings as much as you respect Heller.

            Rights come with responsibilities. That is what we teach our children. That is what we want our children to learn as they reach adulthood. The right to bear arms CLEARLY came with a responsibility to assemble and protect our State, in the place of a standing army. That responsibility has been tossed aside & forgotten, yet the RIGHT associated with it has somehow been expanded to include treating guns as hobbies and toys and weekend fantasies. Our children see through this absurdity. They not only want change, they are working to make change happen, and I am so proud of them.

          5. Victoria,

            It is unclear to me – are you arguing that the left is not intolerant of those who disagree with them? I’m not on the right except for this issue. Because I believe that all constitutional rights count. And for the record, I’ve never been a member of the NRA and I have never seen one of the ranges you claim are the reason for the large number of NRA members. I’ve never been asked at the many ranges I have been to whether I am a member of any group. And that’s over decades of experience in multiple states.

            As for your comment regarding voters – as a general matter that is true and certainly the constitution can be amended – not that it would really matter. The constitution does not grant the rights – it only codifies pre-existing rights. See Heller “[t]his is not a right
            granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed.”
            Oh, and its not particularly easy to amend the constitution – and for good reason.

            I suppose you would prefer to return to a pre-Heller Supreme Court view of the world. Prior to Heller, the court had not considered the 2nd amendment since 1939. In United States v. Miller, the court upheld restrictions on a shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length because there was no evidence that it was “part of the ordinary military equipment.” Is that the standard you are supporting? So we should have fully-automatic M4s and M16s? I believe the founders would have concluded that we should, but I doubt that’s your position. Prior to that, the cases either supported the individual right to keep and bear arms or really don’t address the 2nd directly. (See Presser v. Illinois – a law prohibiting the creation of a private militia or parading does not impact the individual right to keep and bear arms) and US v. Cruikshank (the constitution does not apply agains citizens – it restricts governments, but the right to keep and bear arms is individual and existed prior to the constitution). Or are you going back to Dred Scott? There, the court ruled that slaves were not full citizens, because if they were they would be able to “keep and carry arms wherever they went.” As an aside, this is just one of the cases that clearly demonstrate that gun control has its fundamental basis in racism.

            I have to assume that you mean something other than decisions by the US Supreme Court when you claim that Heller overturned “centuries of precedent.” At least at the Supreme Court level, that is simply not true.

            On that note, how is it that the left is supporting additional criminal laws? These are laws that are far more likely to be unfairly enforced against minorities. If you are truly a liberal, then at a minimum you must admit that you are abandoning the typical liberal view towards decriminalization.

            What’s interesting here is that you want me to respect future Supreme Court rulings, but you don’t respect the current supreme court rulings. Heller held that the right is individual – not collective. The right exists as an individual right and as a result, a militia could be raised. Not that the right relies on the existence or need for a militia – or upon participation in a militia. The right is far broader than that. Your last few sentences certainly indicate you have either not read Heller or you are not willing to respect the decision.

  17. An appropriate statement from PCSD, well done. Students should be allowed to exercise a right to speech and if that takes the form of an organized protest then I hope they take part in a historic movement that could affect the course of the US. Yes I’m sure a few kids will take advantage but this is an opportunity for parents to educate their child on how peaceful protest works and how they can act responsibly. This issue affects them deeply. This issue is not going away and adults are not solving it. Lock out drills and current bandaid measures are not stopping shooters in schools. There are numerous options/ideas to start to turn this around in US culture and we should do many of them; its takes many ingredients to bake a cake.

  18. I understand stand and appreciate Mr John Willis’s comments regarding safety. I particularly agree that having multiple students congregating together outside makes them a target for another maniac who would consider a mass shooting. I do not agree with most of his other comments which has been very well responded by others, such as unions, women’s right to vote and civil rights.

    I appreciate the students concern. When the Florida students presented their points to State government, it was clear the Republicans were going to do little or more likely nothing about this, same thing for Republicans on the Federal end. So it is no wonder why these young “men and women” are frustrated and it is often the younger part of our society that brings progressive change.

    I would recommend that if you don’t want a walk out that the students, teachers and administrators come up with a better idea to show student support for significantly stronger gun laws. If you do not want the students to walk out, then you have to offer them some way of expressing themselves in a way that would make as much or preferably a bigger impact on the politicians and adults of this country than walking out of class. I don’t know what would be the best thing to do, but one thought that came to mind is that in place of the walkout, each school had an assembly where there would be a moment of silence for those who have died, some of the students could speak individually but most important at some point all the students would show their solidarity by voicing something like “no more guns, or no more automatic weapons”. I would have this filmed by every TV channel willing to do it. I think most would. And it should be placed on the internet and I cannot imagine it would not go viral in a huge way.

    I have seen some of the comments on the NRA TV station and ads and they clearly are defending the right to have the AR-51 that was used in the most recent shooting as well as many of the others. According to the rifle evaluation study by the US Army, the AR- 51 is capable of firing 750 rounds per minute. Others have reported less but still I haven’t seen anything that says you cannot fire at least 600 times per minute. It is ridiculous and absurd that this gun is available to the general population no matter
    what the NRA says. These kids are justifiably terrified that no one is doing anything to protect them.. The idea of the general population needing AR-51’s to defend against an invasion or anything else is laughable. The United States has a military budget of $619 billion, which is $363 billion more than Russia and China combined. And I am sure both countries know that to mass that amount of troops to invade the U.S. would not stand a chance of getting any where near our coasts. As for the second amendment defense, This was written over two hundred years ago when local militias had a lot to do with our independence. I have no doubt that guns that fire 700 times per minute were in the founding father’s minds. Many developed countries have strong gun control laws and the data clearly show it is the right think to do. It may not be perfect but it is a lot better than what we have. So let us all do something, Republican, Democrats and Independents alike to tell our politicians that our children supersede the money they get from the NRA and if they don’t do the right thing, instead of talking about it you have to really vote them out.

    1. Armin, as I said above, marching for school safety would include everyone. Marching against constitutional rights is exclusionary. It is unfortunate that you see this issue the way that you do – you don’t believe that people that disagree with you can possibly be doing so because they honestly disagree and see the issue differently than you do. Can you not see the absolute bias in your comment? The only thing you support is more gun control. That’s it. No other approach to solving this issue. You want to take away rights from law abiding citizens. Would you support mass incarceration for minorities in low income urban areas? Why not? It would certainly reduce homicides. I would not support it because it is not appropriate to take away the liberties of innocents because of the actions of criminals. But for guns, you want to take away liberty from innocent citizens.

      In the past 50 years, we have drastically increased the constitutional rights across the board. For those who support those expansions of constitutional protections (which includes me), it is absolutely inconsistent to ignore enumerated constitutional rights while supporting non-enumerated rights. How can one read something into the substantive due process or as an extension of equal protection when you deny the rights that are hard coded? Liberals (including me) abhor unfair treatment of minorities based on the actions of a few minorities – but when it comes to gun rights, they want to punish law abiding citizens because of the actions of a few.

      Do we not recognize that the freedoms we have are not free? I can assure you that there are criminals who are set free as a result of the operation of the fourth amendment (and fifth and others) that commit additional crimes, including murder. Do we want to override the fourth amendment to ensure there will be no other lives lost? Some may, but I don’t think rational people do.

      Many people are asking “Why do we have so many more mass shootings?” First the numbers are not up in the manner people think. Historic data collection used a different definition of mass shooting and there is a new definition being used now – which is massively overstating the number of incidents. That said, the causes of these incidents are not easy to boil down to just one. The Democratic Party wants you to believe that the sole solution is to ban guns. That just does not work. And you cite “other countries. “The main example relied on for this argument is Australia. Everyone thinks that Australia’s problems were solved by a gun ban.

      While Australia had a whopping 9% reduction in homicide following its gun ban, the US had a roughly 40% reduction during the same time period. And that’s with more guns than ever in the US, and widespread gun confiscation in Australia. The statistics cited by gun control advocates only compare homicides committed with a gun, which did decrease (obviously less guns). Sure, homicides committed by guns might drop if all guns were banned, but why does that matter if homicide by other means continues (or actually climbs).

      And let’s be clear – the worst school massacre in US history occurred in 1927. So this is not exactly a new problem.

      Taking away constitutional rights from innocent people is not the answer to the problem.

      The better solutions are those that are being floated: Harden school campuses, arm teachers who want to be armed, improve law enforcement response to threats.

      I’m glad I live in Utah – a state that understands that we need to protect the Second Amendment. And I’m happy to live in a county that has been ranked 5th in the US for gun ownership. http://www.city-data.com/top2/co8.html

      I’m also glad that the teachers in my children’s schools can arm themselves and protect our children if the worst comes to pass – I just hope that lots of them are actually carrying.

      And honestly, if you are going to try to debate this issue, learn something first. I’ll assume the “AR-51” is a typo, but do you understand that the rate of fire you are discussing is not for the AR-15. It is for the M16 or M4. Those are fully automatic – do you know the difference? Many of the left pundits don’t. AND you are quoting cyclical rates of fire based on an assumption that you could feed the gun at that rate (assuming it is automatic, not semi-automatic) and that it would not fail if you tried that. No M16, M4 or AR-15 could actually fire 750 times in a min. Or even 600. The barrel would melt. And no one could control the fire. That’s a major part of the divide here – those that don’t know guns have no idea what they are talking about.

      Your comments about the founders are also flatly wrong. Every left pundit wants to claim that the second amendment should only allow muskets – but at the time, it protected the right of citizens to own any weapon the military could own. And don’t be so sure that guns that could fire multiple rounds per min were not in the minds of our founders. In 1777, ten years before the bill of rights was drafted, the Continental Congress considered purchasing a gun that could “be maid (sic) to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time.” And that’s not to mention the Girandoni air rifle (46 caliber, 22 rounds per min and carried by the Austrian Army – circa 1780, and no, its not a BB gun) or the Kalthoff repeater. The founders had lived through evolutions of firearms – they were thinking men – they actually fought wars – they really could not have been unaware that more powerful weapons were going to be developed. Please, do some research – don’t just listen to left leaning media outlets.

      And really? You are proposing that the school take a position on gun control? That they have a moment of silence FOR GUN CONTROL? Is it appropriate to do that? The school claims to be neutral (while directly comparing this walkout to a full-on gun control march). A moment of silence for school safety – that is appropriate.

      I want my children to be treated fairly – I want them to be respected – I want them safe. I seriously doubt that the other students are going to act that way when my children don’t walk out – they will ridicule and condemn. That’s not what Park City High School should be about.

      1. Paul, you are a first class record breaking mansplainer. Wow. They is so so much that I could respond to, but why?
        The March for Life is on Main Street, so the students had to go to the city and the police department for permits.

        1. Its mansplaining because I’m a man? That does not make much sense. I did not even mention the March for Life. All of my comments have been directed at the walkout, which is on March 14. The March for Life is on March 24. How is it possible you thought I was talking about March 24? How is it possible you were referencing March 24 when this entire discussion is about March 14?

          1. Wow!! Even this reply is insane mansplaining. You do not even notice your incessant explanations that one sentence would cover. Many of the students at school are following this convetsation and well, they completely understand “mansplaining.” You mentioned in an earlier mansplain that the students did not need permits and my point was that they are organizing all of the events- through school and the city. Try to keep up.

          2. Traci, can’t keep up with the debate? No response? Then resort to name calling. Nice example for the students. We are not debating gender issues here. I’d explain what mansplaining is, but I’d likely be mansplaining in doing it.

            What you see above is not mansplaining – its is clearly laying out my position. Its is really sad that you can’t actually debate the issues in a meaningful way and so you provide false comparisons, false facts and improperly use derogatory names as a response.

            The simple fact is that the district is setting up the community for division. The “progressive” students who are planning and participating in this event are excluding students who disagree with them – they are creating an exclusionary environment. They are dragging politics into the school. And the district is complicit.

            Isn’t it clear from the above that this issue is highly divisive?

  19. Thank you for sharing your support for our students’ rights to peaceful assembly and free expression. As a parent, I am grateful for the supervision that will be provided as students strive to be a voice for change in the wake of yet another tragic school massacre. So thankful that my child attends PCSD.

  20. THANK YOU PCSD!! Supporting students to help in this worthy cause is commendable. Perfect response by providing support. My son is in middle school and wants to get involved. Can students at Ecker Hill protest also? It’s amazing that our children are taking matters into their own hands to get results. Your community thanks you.

  21. Thank you so much to all of our administrators, faculty, and community members who have shown their support for the upcoming walkout. While this event is not school-sanctioned (rather, it’s organized by and for the students), the fact that we’ve been granted a largely-uninhibited platform for our peaceful protest does not go unrecognized or unappreciated.

    As one of the many student organizers for the upcoming events, I feel it is my responsibility to clarify some confusion and misunderstandings that have been prevalent throughout many previous comments.

    First, on the nebulous uncertainty of what the protest actually is – here’s a brief overview:
    At 10 AM on March 14th, participating students will walk out of their 2W class and convene in the Senior parking lot, chanting, “walk out”. Once everyone has arrived, we will all lie down and stage a “die-in”. We’ll stay there for 17 minutes (in memoriam for the 17 people who died in the Parkland shooting), each minute reading off a different names and death toll of one of the other 16 largest school shootings. Once this is completed, students will return to their 2W class. While we can’t ensure that no student will ditch, both the student organizers and the administration are strongly encouraging everyone not to. Not only does this delegitimize the purpose of the walkout, but it completely misses the point of the change we’re trying to accomplish.

    Again, participation is not required – if you feel as if your child is unsafe coming to school or walking out, no one is forcing them to do so. This is completely voluntary, and everyone involved is striving to make it as safe, efficient, and effective as possible. But regardless of whether or not they choose to participate, it’s also important to recognize that activism does not come without risk. Teachers are legally allowed to mark those who participate as absent, and there is always the threat of some sort of danger in group gatherings, regardless of the purpose. However, I strongly believe that the possibility for positive change vastly outweighs any prospects of potential harm. As one critical commentator puts it in his own words, “freedoms we have are not free,” and if risking an extra absence is what’s necessary to exercise our first amendment rights, as well as our freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so be it.

    Being forced to observe, powerlessly, as the severity and frequency of school shootings continue to increase is absolutely horrifying – especially because, as students, many of us feel as though our lives are at stake. We will not remain silent as our peers continue to be killed, and this walkout is one way to show our lawmakers exactly how much this issue matters to us. Again, thank you to everyone who has supported us and will continue to do so in the future – hopefully, together we can make a lasting change and apply the much-needed political pressure that will deter similar atrocities from happening in the future.

    1. NINA!
      This is an admirable response to lots of confusion. Thank you! You are so eloquent!!
      Love,
      Faith
      #Nina2036

  22. We are grateful to PCSD and proud of the students.

    Now, since this has devolved into another on-line political discussion: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. I’m a gun owner, veteran, and gun safety activist. I’m afraid our kids’ generation, or maybe the next, will be the ones to fix this issue – but we will keep trying.
    I’m hopeful that in the next century irresponsible gun ownership will be viewed much the same as slavery, child labor, and a lack of human rights for all (still working on that one, shamefully) are today: curious relics of an ignorant and inhumane time.

  23. I believe this action will be successful. The Park City School District (above), states that the students will be supervised. However, I did not see by whom. The PCSD may be able to extend their authority in this matter but they cannot give up their responsibility either legally or otherwise. They need to address this community as to the subject of supervision, authority, and responsibility prior to this event.

    1. PCHS is an open campus. That means Kids come and go all the time. They go to lunch, to the seminary across the street, to tutoring and to friend’s houses in the neighborhood. If they miss a class the parents get a call and they can deal with their own kids. I don’t understand what you expect the school to do? If you don’t want your kid involved use your “authority” as a parent. Why is the idea of some students voicing their options so threatening to people?

  24. Our kids are Brave and compassionate….they want to be the change in the world!!! I am proud to say that my daughter Bella will be part of making history! She is the voice to those students who will not get to live out their dreams. Those children who’s parents are grieving and trying to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. Those children who were planning to go to college next year and were expecting to graduate 👨‍🎓 and be with friends celebrating their success. Please support these students and let them know as parents and teachers we are going to support a very Peaceful protest on march 14th. It’s not about us ( our egos ) this is about our kids. They are the best version of ourselves and our future leaders of the world. Applaud the smart, kind and fearless teenagers of PCHS!👏🏼👏🏼

  25. The most enlightening thing about reading this thread is the stark differences in tone and substance between the comments from the “adults” and those from the students. The comments by the students are civil, engaged, and thoughtful. While many of the adults here are condescending, ill informed and rude. Whether you agree with the students or not, how dare you belittle them and act like their experiences don’t matter. Did you suffer through “active shooter drills”since kindergarten? Let them speak, listen to them, don’t immediately inject your agenda or write them off as being manipulated or brainwashed. Do better than this.

    (And according to recent studies, no new learning brain cells are created past age 13 and continue to die thereafter. So don’t get so cocky, science says these kids probably are smarter than all of us)

  26. I would like to invite the community of Park City, UT to come pray for the teachers and students of Park City High School, the country as a whole, and the family and friends of the victims of past shootings. On Wednesday the 14th before classes begin, from 7am to 7:17, at the PCHS flag pole, please come regardless of political and religious differences and pray for our community and our country in this time of so many different beliefs and opinions. Everyone is welcome. I will be there!
    -Heidi Brown (PCHS student)

    1. Heidi – thanks for your inclusive and welcoming approach to this issue. I just wish the walkout organizers were as thoughtful.

  27. I love this walkout but I am incredibly bothered by the fact that an employer is telling staff (teachers) that they cannot express a position that supports the rights and safety of students. I expect more from my children’s schools.

  28. Jeanie – but that is the law. Employers have the right to control the speech of their employees in the context of their employment. And as you may be able to tell, not everyone agrees that gun control supports the safety of students.

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