Students initiate giant steps for change

By Samantha Johnson

“It’s valuable to convey this message to our senate and local representatives, to show them that we are not going to be complacent. We want to make it known how we feel and that we want to be safe at school, we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that happens,” junior Renee Bruch.

Students will be taking long strides toward reform on Apr. 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. After nearly two months since tragedy struck Stoneman Douglas High,  the #NeverAgain hashtag continues to surface on many social media platforms, both nationally and here at BSHS. Senior and future walkout participant Holly Roustio feels the Parkland students, specifically David Hogg, have kept the conversation in the spotlight.

“[David] asks the questions that everyone to too afraid to ask and puts people on the spot to defend their actions,” Roustio said. “I find the [Parkland students] refreshing because even though they are at every disadvantage, they don’t let anything stop them,” she added.

Closer to home, seniors Daria Williams, Rianda Wenther and junior Renee Bruch have been working to organize a safe and peaceful walkout. BSHS administration is not promoting the walkout but has taken the time to talk with student activists about their thoughts and concerns. A main concern for student leaders regarding a demonstration was location and safety.

“Some of us felt that the parking lot would be a safety hazard, so the football field was just something that we could all compromise with,” Williams said.

Williams, Bruch, and Wenther are also looking for unique student speakers.

“We’re just looking for students who can use their voice,” Williams said. “We’re looking for students who truly believe in gun reform and feel really strongly,” she added.

Bruch, who runs @schoolwalkoutBSHS, explained that the hope was to attract a diverse student audience to this event. Regardless of any political views, she said, any opinions can be openly shared and elaborated upon.

“This isn’t a partisan issue. If you vote red or blue you don’t have to [attend] based on that, it’s [about] being safe in school,” Bruch said.

Roustio also saw the benefit of discussing opposing viewpoints on gun control.

“Every legitimate argument [should] be acknowledged because there are many potential solutions to this problem, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons,” Roustio said.

Bruch spelled out her final thoughts on peaceful protest and gun safety.

“It’s valuable to convey this message to our senate and local representatives, to show them that we are not going to be complacent,” junior Renee Bruch said. “We want to make it known how we feel and that we want to be safe at school, we’ll do whatever it takes to make sure that happens,” she added.