News

Tri-Valley students take part in National School Walkout Day

Teens urge local politicians to support gun control legislation, oppose arming teachers

Students across the Tri-Valley joined others around the country in walking out of class Wednesday morning to support gun reform and to commemorate the victims of the Parkland school shooting.

The national event was intended to throw support behind gun reform at a Congressional level, as well as to commemorate the victims of the Parkland, Fla. shooting in February.

"It is imperative that we, as students, sustain the conversation on gun reform and stand up for our basic right to feel safe at school," student organizers wrote on the Facebook page for the Dougherty Valley High event.

On Wednesday, students at each of the district's middle and comprehensive high schools participated, according to Elizabeth Graswich, the district's spokeswoman.

The activities included organized walks (mostly on-campus), speeches, moments of silence to honor the victims and passive protests, Graswich said.

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The district and school administrators had been preparing for the events for several weeks.

"Our students who participated acted maturely, focused on the loss of lives in Florida and on participating in the democratic process in a respectful manner," she said in an email.

"Staff worked together to ensure that all students were safe. We are grateful for the students and staff in SRVUSD who demonstrated yesterday that coming together in a peaceful manner is the way to engage one another in respectful conversations."

Student leaders at DVHS -- specifically, members of the Black Student Union, Gender-Sexuality Alliance and FemEquality groups -- also sent letters to Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, State Sen. Steve Glazer and U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell.

"As high school students, we've grown up under the specter of horrific school shootings, from Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook," students wrote. "As high school students, we are afraid -- literally afraid -- to go to school and get an education...But as high school students, we've also grown up recognizing the power of our voices, the impact of our collective action."

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Also in the letter, they urged the local politicians to support proposed gun control bills and to publicly denounce legislation that would arm teachers or increase the number of armed security guards on school campuses.

"Such proposals ignore the broad consensus maintained by students, teachers, campus police, and administrators -- that the militarization of our schools would be severely harmful, particularly to students of color, and would cause significant damage to our learning environment," the students wrote.

In neighboring Pleasanton, about 1,000 Foothill High students gathered for their own walkout event, circling around the front science building, and then returning to the quad for a rally, all the while chanting "Enough is enough."

Sophomore Alexander Chen, who was one of the event's organizers, said the Parkland, Fla. shooting last month was a "wake-up call."

"We hope to send a message to Congress and the government, that everyone is in on this issue, and we all call for reform, even teenagers who may not have the right to vote yet," Chen said. "And that gun reform is definitely needed across the country."

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Tri-Valley students take part in National School Walkout Day

Teens urge local politicians to support gun control legislation, oppose arming teachers

by Erika Alvero /

Uploaded: Wed, Mar 14, 2018, 8:57 pm
Updated: Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 5:40 pm

Students across the Tri-Valley joined others around the country in walking out of class Wednesday morning to support gun reform and to commemorate the victims of the Parkland school shooting.

The national event was intended to throw support behind gun reform at a Congressional level, as well as to commemorate the victims of the Parkland, Fla. shooting in February.

"It is imperative that we, as students, sustain the conversation on gun reform and stand up for our basic right to feel safe at school," student organizers wrote on the Facebook page for the Dougherty Valley High event.

On Wednesday, students at each of the district's middle and comprehensive high schools participated, according to Elizabeth Graswich, the district's spokeswoman.

The activities included organized walks (mostly on-campus), speeches, moments of silence to honor the victims and passive protests, Graswich said.

The district and school administrators had been preparing for the events for several weeks.

"Our students who participated acted maturely, focused on the loss of lives in Florida and on participating in the democratic process in a respectful manner," she said in an email.

"Staff worked together to ensure that all students were safe. We are grateful for the students and staff in SRVUSD who demonstrated yesterday that coming together in a peaceful manner is the way to engage one another in respectful conversations."

Student leaders at DVHS -- specifically, members of the Black Student Union, Gender-Sexuality Alliance and FemEquality groups -- also sent letters to Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, State Sen. Steve Glazer and U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell.

"As high school students, we've grown up under the specter of horrific school shootings, from Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook," students wrote. "As high school students, we are afraid -- literally afraid -- to go to school and get an education...But as high school students, we've also grown up recognizing the power of our voices, the impact of our collective action."

Also in the letter, they urged the local politicians to support proposed gun control bills and to publicly denounce legislation that would arm teachers or increase the number of armed security guards on school campuses.

"Such proposals ignore the broad consensus maintained by students, teachers, campus police, and administrators -- that the militarization of our schools would be severely harmful, particularly to students of color, and would cause significant damage to our learning environment," the students wrote.

In neighboring Pleasanton, about 1,000 Foothill High students gathered for their own walkout event, circling around the front science building, and then returning to the quad for a rally, all the while chanting "Enough is enough."

Sophomore Alexander Chen, who was one of the event's organizers, said the Parkland, Fla. shooting last month was a "wake-up call."

"We hope to send a message to Congress and the government, that everyone is in on this issue, and we all call for reform, even teenagers who may not have the right to vote yet," Chen said. "And that gun reform is definitely needed across the country."

Comments

Tom
Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:46 am
Tom , Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 8:46 am

Proud of our kids taking a stand for a worthy cause. This is what makes America great. People standing up for what they believe in. This generation will finally tackle gun violence


hamilton
Registered user
Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:53 am
hamilton, Vista Grande Elementary School
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:53 am

It does my heart good to see these young people. Gives me hope for the future!


Bob
Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:54 am
Bob, Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:54 am

It is shameful to see our children and students bring manipulated by leftist groups, teachers and politicians to promote thier agenda. If anyone thinks this was a student movement, it was not. It was an organized campaign to use our children. If we really want to do something to end gun violence, we need to focus our efforts on dealing with the mentally ill and holding our police accountable when they fail to act. Florida could've been prevented had either the FBI or sheriff acted on the information they had!
It is a fact that more guns mean less crime. The communities in this country that have the highest rates of gun ownership have the least crime. Something other than the availability of guns is at play here. Help protect our students by adding armed guards to schools and arming some teachers. Gun free zones endanger our students and others.


Scott Hale
Registered user
San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:00 am
Scott Hale, San Ramon
Registered user
on Mar 15, 2018 at 10:00 am

Bob: Really? Fact or opinion? My son's elementary school participated. Only the 5th grade. They were allowed to walk the quad for 17 minutes and then returned to class. Nobody organized them. Nobody requested they do it. None shouted 'gun control'.
Sure, a gun problem is solved by adding even more guns to people who are more likely to shoot themselves. sheesh.
Who will pay for guards? Who will pay to arm teachers? Where exactly is that money coming from?
Think it through before leaving drivel.


Barbara L
Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:24 am
Barbara L, Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 11:24 am

Of course the kids are not being manipulated - that is ridiculous and offensive to assume that they don't have minds of their own (ever tried to talk a teenager in to something they didn't want to do? That should be your "aha" moment right there). Case in point, the students in Atlanta who were threatened with discipline if they walked out - they took a knee to show support.

I agree that better diagnostic and treatment services for mental illness also a part of this issue. Good luck funding that when the largest payer for these services is MedicAid/MediCal and the current administration is working to cut way back on benefits.

These kids impress me so much, with their focused attention and their solidarity in working to bring awareness and meaningful change. They are light years ahead of many, if not most, of our politicians.


Scott
Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm
Scott, Danville
on Mar 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm

I completely agree with the message and the protest, but I wonder how many kids would have done this on a Saturday or Sunday-on their own time?


Resident
San Ramon
on Mar 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm
Resident, San Ramon
on Mar 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

With the exception of Bob's post, there's no critical thinking in any of the above posts.


John
Blackhawk
on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm
John, Blackhawk
on Mar 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm

Bob, it is shameful to see you so manipulated by rightist groups, NRA supporters and the Republican Cabal that is undermining the fabric of the country. Your comments are part of an organized movement to lull the adult population into thinking more guns solve violence just to line the pockets of wealthy gun manufacturers and their paid for legislators.

If we really want to do something to end gun violence, we need to focus our efforts on making sure we keep guns out of the hands of people that don't have the capacity of dealing with them such as the mentally ill, felons, people accused of domestic violence,teenagers who like you said are easily manipulated and holding our police accountable when they fail to act.

And I agree with Mike Huckabee, we should have the same gun laws and gun culture as Israel :) That way AR15's and similar guns are not available to the public, and everyone who has a gun has it registered and needs to be certified in using it every 3 years. (also there is a strict limit in the number guns one can own).


hamilton
Registered user
Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm
hamilton, Vista Grande Elementary School
Registered user
on Mar 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm

No critical thinking? Are you inside my head or the heads of other commenters, Resident? What an insult. You know nothing about any of us.


C. R. Mudgeon
Danville
on Mar 16, 2018 at 10:52 pm
C. R. Mudgeon, Danville
on Mar 16, 2018 at 10:52 pm

Rather than criticize others’ posts, I’m just going to speak about my own opinion. At the age of 62, I’ve never owned a gun. I’ve done a bit of target shooting, but don’t hunt, and have never really felt a need for owning a gun. But now I am seriously considering purchasing a gun. Before someone tells me I can’t. As someone who would be totally responsible in the ownership of a gun, should I decide to purchase one, I don’t want to be penalized by other people’s good intentions. I believe there are better solutions to gun violence, that don’t involve penalizing the law-abiding.


Scott Hale
Registered user
San Ramon
on Mar 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm
Scott Hale, San Ramon
Registered user
on Mar 17, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Resident: Where is your critical thinking? If you have nothing to add, you know you can scroll on by.


Danville Mom
Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:53 am
Danville Mom, Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 9:53 am

First, I support gun laws; background checks etc, but I don't support losing our amended rights!

Second, ask an elementary student why they're marching. They might say "to change gun laws" (thanks to media and parents) BUT ask them what the gun laws are now and what needs to be changed. I doubt they know.
Teaching kids to protest en masse without fully understanding why is manipulative and disgraceful.

Further, I bet that if you quiz high schoolers the same about gun laws, they wouldn't know the answers either.

Did these walk-outs have any impact?
I do hope they did because I'm sure that there were many students that went along with it just to be inclusive regardless of their beliefs and full understanding of the laws.

Before the hate responses roll in, I want to say that I'm as devastated as the next person whenever I hear of ANY senseless act of violence and something needs to change but putting young children into place as pawns is just wrong.
(I saw a news segment that showed very young children walking in a hallway carrying signs....really?)

Other than social media coverage, has there been an impact on the matter at hand?

In many other states, guns are in most homes and children are exposed to them at a fairly young age. Correct handling, usage, respect and safety are taugbt. This right should not be taken away from anyone.


Natalie
Monte Vista High School
on Mar 19, 2018 at 10:17 am
Natalie, Monte Vista High School
on Mar 19, 2018 at 10:17 am

As a high schooler, I don't want the second amendment to be taken away from law abiding citizens. But we should seriously recognize that we should put more restrictions and background checks. And there are many loopholes that need to be fixed in the gun selling industry.

Like bumper stocks and automatic rifles probably shouldn't be bought by someone who has been tipped to the FBI repeatedly.


chris
San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm
chris, San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm

@Danville Mom "In many other states, guns are in most homes and children are exposed to them at a fairly young age. Correct handling, usage, respect and safety are taugbt. This right should not be taken away from anyone."

Tell that to the 13 year old girl who just had her brains blown out by her 9 year old brother.

Web Link


Barbara L
Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm
Barbara L, Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Danville Mom, I think the amount of social media coverage regarding these (all too common) mass tragedies is an impact. If you are asking, however, if this means that AR-15's and the like will no longer be available to civilians, or that people with mental health issues will be unable to access this type of weapon, I think these things will take much more time. We do have a president that is bringing more attention to bump stocks and the like, though I'm not hopeful that anything definitive will come out of it while he is in office. Still, the seeds are being sewn and we can likely all agree that the status quo is not working. Clearly.

Several of my nieces and nephews kids participated in the 17 minutes of silence. The grade school aged ones did it out of support for the 17 students murdered in Florida, because they "want to feel safe at school" and quite possibly because friends were participating. The older kids said they felt a type of camaraderie in joining together with others across the country, to make the statement that they did not feel safe at school, and that change is necessary. In all cases, their participation was meaningful to them and they were not coerced or "used as pawns."

I've seen several of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School students talk about how heartened they feel, having students across the country take a bit of time to show their support. If nothing else comes of this (and I hope that is not the case), having students take band together in support of each other nation wide is worth it to me.


Annie Oakley
Registered user
Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm
Annie Oakley, Danville
Registered user
on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

Here is a listing of the 817 Marches for Our Lives happening world-wide this Saturday, March 24. 21 of them are in the Bay Area, including Walnut Creek at 11 AM, and SF Civic Plaza at 1 PM. Come on out! Web Link


Danville Mom
Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm
Danville Mom, Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Chris, are you stating that no one should be permitted to have guns in this country? I do not understand the reason for your tragic statement. Gun safety should be above all and children should NEVER be allowed access to them. My two sons were raised with guns in our home and until they were 18 and older, were they permitted to even see them. They were not even aware of their existence as youngsters. My younger son had his first "gun experience" as a Boy Scout and even then my husband and I were reluctant to allow his participation. Our guns were always un-loaded, locked away and the ammo was in a different locked location.

Barbara L. Thank you for your thoughtful response. I agree with your statements about the access of certain weapons and the mentally ill. We do have a ways to go....

Regarding the 17 minutes of silence, I do feel great respect for that time taken out by all students of any age. I agree (as sad as it is) that even the younger students are aware of what happened and to pay respects is very important.

My point about the marching to change gun laws was the focus of my statement. I still believe that many were marching "blindly" for gun law reform without understanding the details.

I do indeed hope that these innocent people who have lost their lives will not have done so in vain and that there IS a change to make this country safer.

As long as this country is so divided in hatred for the "other side", it could be very difficult to make a change for the better. I hope and pray that things will change for the better and these things start at home where we teach our children to respect and love their fellow human. Everyone is so busy pointing their fingers at someone and blaming this administration for this and that administration for that; our children are listening to it all. As adults, we need to set the best positive example for our children.

Hatred begets hatred. Anger begets anger. Let's set the right examples.

(I step off of my soapbox).


Barbara L
Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Barbara L, Danville
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Danville Mom, well put!


Chris
San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm
Chris, San Ramon
on Mar 19, 2018 at 4:46 pm

@Danville Mom
You stated that in other states most homes have guns and children are exposed at a young age and I gave you an example of how that went tragically wrong.

It's great that you have your guns locked up, but in 2016 alone people reported 237,000 guns stolen by criminals according to an article by business insider. This tells me that lots of people don't do a good job locking up their guns which means lots of kids with access to guns.


Marie
Danville
on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:09 am
Marie, Danville
on Mar 22, 2018 at 9:09 am

A BIG THUMBS UP AND HIGH 5 TO ALL THE STUDENTS WHO STAYED IN CLASS! PROUD OF YOU!


Tom T
Danville
on Mar 22, 2018 at 11:12 am
Tom T, Danville
on Mar 22, 2018 at 11:12 am

Students are in school to learn. The less time they are in class the less they will learn. One party dominates this state and the teachers union is in lock step with them. Call me shocked that this march happened. The good news is my kids will have an easy time competing with leftists snowflakes in the real world so by all means protest away,


Sandy
San Ramon
on Mar 26, 2018 at 8:10 am
Sandy, San Ramon
on Mar 26, 2018 at 8:10 am

To Scott re: your comment on 3/15 how many children would have walked out of school if it was a Saturday? I hope you’re thoroughly embarrassed by that nasty comment. Obviously millions.


Scott Hale
Registered user
San Ramon
on Mar 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm
Scott Hale, San Ramon
Registered user
on Mar 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Sandy: Too many Scott's in this thread....

Pretty hard for school aged kids to walk out of class on a Saturday. That is kinda a 'duh' comment. And as seen this past weekend plenty marched.

Pretty sure the other 'Scott' crawling back into the hole they came out of...


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