Tag Archives: walkout

Organizers reflect on the Everest walkout

By Anna Scherer and Natally Tapia

Staff Writers

The organizers of the Sequoia Union Walkout put their skills to use and grew as activists on the day they took a stand for school safety. On March 14, students from Everest Public High School and Summit Preparatory Charter High School participated in the National Walkout Day to protest gun violence.

Everest freshman Tali Beres, a student in the Expeditions Social and Emotional Intelligence course, was one of the student organizers, along with Everest junior Samantha Suchite, a student in the Expeditions Human Rights course. The teacher who helped organize the walkout was Zoe Marinkovich, the Human Rights teacher. She said she helped organize the walkout because she wanted to provide resources to students who were fighting for their safety at school.

The walkout showed the students how to put the skills they gained in their Expeditions courses into use. Ms. Marinkovich explained what information she teaches in her Human Rights Expeditions course: “Through these case studies, students are asked to develop skills that Human Rights activists use. They do an oral history, and we also gain skills trying to understand what’s happening in our legislature right now: what laws are trying to be passed; what are activists working on to try and address some of these issues, and what does it mean for individuals citizens to be engaged in that process.”

See below for a video explaining more about this walkout:

Everest students march against gun violence

By Anna Scherer

Staff Writer

It all started with a few students who worried about their safety. I, Anna Scherer, and my fellow Everest students have grown up in a culture where there have been shootings – so many that the shootings have become sort of normal, just a part of our world. But, as we saw more people lose their lives to the guns of others, we decided that, along with the rest of the country, we have had enough of guns. So we all gathered to plan a walkout to protest guns and inspire change.

We originally planned to do a 17-minute walkout like the rest of the country, but we extended the walkout to all day so we can stand up for all lives lost in the face of guns, not just the lives lost in Parkland. We want stricter gun controls and for our teachers not to be forced to carry guns, because we believe more guns isn’t a solution. We are marching for our safety and for our lives, so there will never be another shooting.

My fellow planner Tali Beres created a slideshow with the information all students need to know about the walkout.

Tali Beres, an Everest freshman, and Samantha Suchite, an Everest junior, are two of the organizers of Everest’s student-led walkout. They explained their plans, their personal ideas and their influences. 

1. How was the issue of gun control brought to your attention?

“It was brought to my attention because [of] the news of the shooting, and it made me sad that students my age were being killed because someone else had a weapon; and, if you think about it, we could have also been in that position,” Suchite said. 

“It first came to my attention when I heard what school shooting was, when I heard, I heard about Sandy Hook and that the gun was bought legally and it killed so many people and that a lot of stuff is easier to buy than a gun,” Beres said. 

2. Who influenced your passion for this subject?

“A teacher named Ms. Thiele from last year. She brought in my interest about human rights and law,” Suchite said. 

“I would say the media and watching all these other teens stand up for your rights,” Beres said. 

3. What do you believe needs to changed in America?

 “I believe that the mindset of Americans needs to change. By changing their mindset they will be open to new ideas and be able to come up with more, better resolutions that will benefit all parties (lower class, middle class, the rich class, minority communities, etc.),” Suchite said. 

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Everest junior Samantha Suchite

 

 “There needs to be stricter laws on guns to prevent gun violence. There needs to be more respect in our country for students – their voices and their safety. Besides gun control, I believe all people need to be seen as equals. We need a new president,” Beres said. 

4. How do you think you can change these things?

“I think that by putting my ideas, or part of an idea, into motion [that] will start the revolution of a possible new change,” Suchite said. 

 “Standing up and using our voice. Nothing will be done if we are silent,” Beres said. 

5. What outcome do you expect to see from these changes?

“I expect to see an outcome that is similar to what I thought it would turn out or a completely new idea that is heading towards the area of growth and a positive change. I expect to see communities uniting,” Suchite said. 

 “I want to see us get the justice we deserve,” Beres said. 

6. How are you standing up for this cause and how can others join you?

 “I am participating in a walkout that will verbally speak and physically show how much we (youth) would like to have a voice and choice of how to lead our lives. This topic, of guns, is rather very sensitive to the adults, but to the many teens [it] is rather not because many of us see the effects that guns have when handed to people. They are not for protection when they are brought to schools by children themselves. Teens can help by posting on media (after all our generation dominated the social networks) or join us in walkout / marches so our words can actually make an effect,” Suchite said. 

 “I am participating in my school walkout against guns to fight for gun control. Other students are joining as well,” Beres said. 

7. Tell me more about the walkout: when is it and who can participate?

“The walkout is a connection to the 17, TEEN lives lost in a shooting all because a certain student was upset AND at that time had a gun at hand. The walkout is on March 14, 2018 at 9:15 it is either for 17 minutes (for the 17 lives) and the other where they go to City Hall to protect and try to get out voices heard to make an actual change,” Suchite said. 

“The walkout is on March 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Anyone from the Sequoia Union High School District (teacher or student) is encouraged to participate,” Beres said. 

8. Why was this walkout organized this way?

“The walkout was organized this way because we thought that 17 minutes of our time would not speak as loud as ditching and making ourselves heard by walking all the way to city hall to speak about this issue. We also thought that by joining together with other schools it would: one, bring more students; two, see that private, charter, and public high school really care and are on the same boat of interest,” Suchite said. 

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Everest freshman Tali Beres

 

“This walk out was designed this way so we all have a voice,” Beres said.

9. What will students do during this walkout?

“We will chant and raise our posters to the public and our (small connection to the) government to show that we want to be involved and take part in choices that meddle with our lives,” Suchite said.

“We will protest for peace and justice. We will use our voices for what we believe in,” Beres said. 

10. Anything else people need to know about in order to participate?

“You have the right to speak and protest and the right to media as long as it is peaceful and mindful then all is good and no violence should be inflicted. Teens should actually fight their way in making their voices heard by the higher-ups in order to get our voice heard and action taken into account, but, more importantly, our solutions to these problems,” Suchite said. 

“There will be a 17-minute protest in Everest’s parking lot, and in order to go to City Hall we recommend you have your parents call and excuse you after 10 a.m. Also please don’t come just to ditch or smoke; that’s not cool or permitted,” Beres said. 

Related:

Everest students join nationwide walkout

 

Everest students join nationwide walkout

By Katherine Enriquez, Ale Navarro, Esmeralda Pacheco and Rylee Storms

Staff Writers

A planned student-led walkout on Wednesday is the latest step in the #NeverAgain movement, a nationwide call for action in response to a deadly school shooting.

On Feb. 14, 2018 in Parkland, Fla., 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz

Cruz made disturbing posts on Instagram and YouTube, posting pictures of guns and writing about his plans to become a school shooter. Despite these clear warning signs, he was able to legally obtain over 10 rifles, one of which he used in the shooting.

Parkland was far from the first school shooting; however, it was one of the most lethal, taking a spot in the top 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. So far, four countries have enacted very strict gun laws that have proven effective; the United States has not.

Now, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and many other schools, including Everest Public High School in Redwood City, are protesting in support of stricter gun control.

Nationwide walkouts will take place on March 14. Everest students will be participating, along with other local schools, by hosting a 17-minute rally at 10 a.m. The rally, meant to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting, will be followed by a march to City Hall. 

While most schools are planning a rally, Everest students decided to add a march downtown to emphasize their commitment.

“The walkout was organized this way because we thought that 17 minutes of our time would not speak as loud as ditching and making ourselves heard by walking all the way to City Hall to speak about this issue. We also thought that by joining together with other schools it would: one, bring more students; two, see that private, charter and public high school really care and are on the same boat of interest,” Everest junior Samantha Suchite explained. You can find more information about the planned protest here

The Women’s March movement is supporting the March 14 protests, keeping track of where student-led walkouts are happening and endorsing them.

Following the March 14 protests, students across the nation are planning further action. The March For Our Lives will happen on March 24. The D.C. event will include students who survived the Parkland shooting. There is also a National School Walkout planned for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. 

Here’s a selection of posts from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas student advocates:

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As students advocate for changes to our national gun control policies, it’s worth taking a look at the status quo. Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand the debate:

1. How do background checks work?

One modern day gun control policy is to have background checks on the buyers. Buyers have to go through a process that includes filling out a form that makes them answer questions about their background and criminal record. The dealer then contacts the National Instant Criminal Background Check System with the buyer’s filled-out form and Social Security number. Private sellers currently are not required to perform background checks on their customers.

2. How extensive are background checks?

At least 90 percent of cases are approved in short periods of times (almost immediately). In some cases a buyer might face a longer process because of a number of reasons, such as having a criminal background, incomplete records or legal cases related to mental health. The FBI then has three extra days to do further research. If the seller does not receive a denial or an approval, the seller can then sell the gun to the buyer.

3. What exactly is an assault weapon?

Although there are many opinions of what an assault weapon is or what weapons fall into that category, one thing is for sure – they all create serious damage. An example of an automatic weapon is a machine gun, which will continue to fire as long as the trigger is held down and the gun still has ammunition. Examples of semi- automatic weapons are rifles, pistols and shotguns, more specifically AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. The difference between an automatic gun and a semi-automatic gun is that a semi-automatic gun requires that the shooter pull the trigger in order to fire another round.

The AR-15, which stands for ArmaLite Rifle, was developed in the 1950s. The gun can cause a tremendous amount of damage to its target while firing up to 45 bullets per round per minute, as stated in its manual. It is able to fire as soon as it feels the smallest touch on its trigger. An AR-15-style gun was used in the Parkland shooting, and some have suggesting banning sales on this type of weapon.

4. How influential are bump stocks?

Bump stocks are specially designed to make firing easier, and they are currently legal in the United States. Bump stocks are dangerous because they can make they gun fire faster than it normally would. As the trigger undergoes compression, the front of the gun recoils against the bump stock. This equipment was used in the Las Vegas shooting, and some (including Trump administration officials) have called for banning any further sales. 

5. Where can I get more information about gun control policies?

The Council on Foreign Relations put together this resource sheet detailing how U.S. gun control policies compare to those of other countries. A German broadcaster put together this list of facts about U.S. gun control policy. Vox compiled this collection of maps and charts to show why the United States has such a unique relationship to gun violence.

Related:

Everest students march against gun violence

Everest students walkout to protest the election

By Serina Sperduto

Staff Writer

Since the presidential election, students have tried to have their voices heard. As the election came to an end, students at schools all around the Sequoia High School District led walkouts, including one at Everest Public High School on Nov. 9.

Everest Assistant Director Drew Moriates said that as he saw students walking out, he was not going to stop it because he thought “it was important to give students the opportunity to get their thoughts out” about the current situation and about how worried they were for their families and other friends and just the community around them.

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Everest Assistant Director Drew Moriates

To Mr. Moriates, it seemed as if there were about 70 to 80 students, out of 400 total students, who participated in the walkout. He thought “the topic was important to seek and understand.” His biggest concern was that it was done in a “respectful and safe way.”

“There were no worries or problems to have to handle which was one of the best things, that they could have all their thoughts let out safely,” Mr. Moriates said, adding that he enjoyed watching the seniors take over the walkout because they were in fact “showing and setting a safe model and showed leadership amongst peers.”

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This is a screenshot of a video of the student-led walkout in front of Everest on Nov. 9. PHOTO CREDIT: Alfredo Lanuza

Mr. Moriates said he believed that if students did want to create change in the community around them, that they could because their voices matter. He added that the students who led the walkout did have very important thoughts to share, which many students agreed with.

Mr. Moriates did say that he believes in student empowerment and that he liked the way that the Everest walkout was respectfully handled.

The political situation created by the election of Donald Trump is personally important to me.

During the election, I got many racist comments toward me. “Who do you vote for? Trump because you’re white.”

I might be white, but I do have some Mexican in me, and it hurts me to see that people these days are so cruel.

I think Everest allowing the walkout to happen was very important. I am very happy administrators allowed students to get their feelings, thoughts and beliefs out to the world for others to hear. People had so many strong comments, and I was very happy to hear people stand up for their country, their parents, their religion and their race.

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This Snapchat photo shows Everest students protesting in front of the school. PHOTO CREDIT: Serina Sperduto

President Trump’s election should matter to people because everyone has opinions, and they should be able to express those thoughts where they want to, no matter who’s there.

If students want to try and change the community around them, I feel like they can, just as the Everest community all came together to have our voices heard. That is what I strongly believe in. The walkout was organized so no people felt left out or picked on because everyone had the opportunity to be heard.

Featured image (at the top of this post):  On Nov. 10, Everest students walked to downtown Redwood City to protest against Donald Trump becoming president. PHOTO CREDIT: Gilbert Medrano