Hundreds of Lincoln High School students join national walkout
Hundreds of Lincoln High School students walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. Wednesday as part of a national demonstration calling for school safety and increased gun control measures.
The students gathered peacefully and respectfully while a light rain fell on the campus.
The national walkout took place one month after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Lincoln High School students returned to their classrooms at 10:17 a.m. after brief statements were made by the three organizers of the local walkout: sophomores Hana Uhler, Laisha Martinez and Gabrialle Camba.
Uhler, 15, began her comments by asking the assembled students to respect the rights of the students who remained in their classes. She then read the names of those killed in the Parkland, Florida shooting, which was followed by four minutes of silence.
Uhler said the Parkland, Florida shooting was a wakeup call for her.
“It definitely shook me quite a bit,” Uhler said. “They said Parkland was a safe neighborhood and I think Lincoln is safe. I wanted to acknowledge the victims and those standing up to lawmakers and pushing for better governance.”
“Real change can happen here and it begins at 10:17 a.m.,” Uhler added.
Martinez said she is concerned about school safety.
“Schools should be a safe environment and we shouldn’t be scared to go to school,” Martinez said. “The Parkland shooting definitely showed we need more gun control; the national walkout shows we students have influence and can use our First Amendment rights to secure the safety of students.”
Camba said she is for greater gun control measures.
“The (Parkland shooting) hit me hard,” Camba said. “A friend of mine knew one of the victims closely and I thought ‘this could happen to me.’ The walkout shows how students can unite and work together.”
Lincoln High School Principal Jay Berns described the students as “amazing.”
Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman was at the walkout and was “very proud of the students.”
“This was a very positive experience today,” Leaman said. “The students’ message was very clear about stopping gun violence on school campuses so they can feel safe. The entire event was student-organized and I think it was very impactful.”
Leaman described the students as mature and thoughtful.
“This was a peaceful protest toward something they really want to see changed,” Leaman added.