High School Locks Students In During Walkout, Then Something Pretty Amazing Happened

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Thousands of students across the country, some as young as 11 years old, walked out of their schools in a 17-minute silent gun violence protest. Each minute represented a memorial to one life blown out with an Ar-15 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Unfortunately, school administrators refused some of them their protest.

The Mt. Diablo High School staff locked the gate at the campus entrance to prevent the kids from leaving at the 10:00 a.m. time. Some of the young people carried signs displaying messages of protest against gun violence.

However, at 10:15 a.m. the students broke through the barricade and marched down the street shouting “enough is enough.” The school administrators ordered them to return to the campus within a few minutes,, and the kids returned after the staff threatened to call their parents.

The high school is located in Concord CA, which is directly northeast of San Francisco and Berkley.

One student told The Mercury Newspaper that she had hoped to participate in the protest, especially after she saw how gun violence has impacted schools throughout the nation. She said it was a “big issue” and did not want to be “the next one:”

‘We thought gun control is a big issue in this country. We don’t want our school to be the next one.’

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School principal Lorne Barbosa said the student government had made the decision to skip the walkout. Although he noted that he was not necessarily against a student protest, he said parents might not approve of their children leaving campus.

Across the Bay Area, schools had varying responses to the protests. Some warned there would be consequences for missing class, while others were structuring ways for students to participate on or near campuses.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) circulated an online student protest guide that made students aware of their legal rights. Schools would be within their rights to discipline the young people for missing classes, but they cannot impose harsher punishment for students’ political action.

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ACLU national political director, Faiz Shakir, wrote in his email campaign about the online guide:

‘Students are leading the way and showing us just how much is possible when we’re not afraid to fight for our safety, our rights, and our future. We all need to use our voice and use our rights – because that’s what makes change.’

Mt. Diablo High made an announcement over the loudspeaker at about 10 a.m. in honor of gun violence victims.

Featured Image via Getty Images/Ross Taylor.