Glenwood Springs, other Garfield County schools join national walkout |

Glenwood Springs, other Garfield County schools join national walkout

Students at Riverview School near Glenwood Springs participate in the "17 minutes of silence" walkout on Wednesday morning.

Students at Glenwood Springs and Yampah Mountain high schools, and all across Garfield County, joined in a national school walkout day Wednesday to protest gun violence. The demonstrations come a month to the day after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting incident at a Florida high school.

The walkouts occurred at 10 a.m. in each time zone across the country, including locally.

Each minute for 17 minutes outside Glenwood High, a student leader would yell out a name of a person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14. Students and adults linked arms, and many cars honked their horns as they drove by.

A nearby adult emphasized that this is this generation’s time. After the 17 minutes concluded, the students repeated in unison, “Enough is enough.” They then marched to the Garfield County Courthouse.

Yampah Mountain students gathered in front of the courthouse, also offering chants of “Be everybody’s friend” and “What do we want? Gun control! When do we want it? Now!”

Students at Coal Ridge High School in Silt also staged a walkout, and organized marches took place at Ross Montessori in Carbondale and other middle schools. Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale took 17 seconds of silence in memory of the Florida victims during the school’s morning community meeting, and middle school students at Riverview School also participated in the walkout.

Danielle Hammond, mother of two GSHS students, said:

“I believe that the response to this and the idea of arming teachers is ridiculous in that it would put teachers in a position of being the first one to be taken out. I want my teachers here to teach and to nurture my children, not to have to worry about where there gun’s locked, is it safe. That’s not what people get into teaching for. That’s their idea of a reasonable answer to this? It’s wrong. No one needs an assault weapon. If you wanted to shoot an assault weapon, do it at a shooting range and leave it there. … I’m not saying take away everyone’s gun rights. I am a gun owner and a parent.”

GSHS student Wendy Dominguez held a sign reading, “Prayers and condolences are not enough! Our government officials need to take action or step down.”

“People say that people are the ones who do everything, which guns are included in it, too,” she said. “If we don’t take action then the world won’t change at all.” 

Added GSHS student Victoria Vasquez, “It doesn’t matter what side of the argument you’re on at this point. One thing that stands, is there needs to be change. This shouldn’t be the norm anymore. We shouldn’t have kids be worried to go to school and have their parents be scared that they’re never going to see them again the next morning.”

GSHS students Lily Webber and Grace Haberern offered their thoughts, as well.

“Those 17 lives shouldn’t have been lost because of an AR-15 a civilian got his hands on,” Haberern said. “It’s murder to buy an AR-15.”

“Civilians should not have access to military-grade weapons,” Webber added. “It’s completely not OK because they have one purpose, and that is to kill people in mass numbers. And that’s not what we need.

“It’s one thing ot have a hunting rifle and shoot a squirrel in your backyard. It’s another to buy a military-grade weapon, an automatic machine gun, and kill 17 [people] with lives and stories and passions.”

“And who just wanted to get an education and be safe,” Haberern said.

For more images from Wednesday’s walkouts

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