LSE students take part in the National School Walkout

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LSE students take part in the National School Walkout

Syann Engelhard, Graphic Artist

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A wall of solidarity is formed through linked arms of over 150 students, a chant is heard through the crowd, “Enough is enough”. On the opposite side of the practice field is a group of around 10 fellow LSE students, some holding flags decorated with semi-automatics, and others holding the American flag.. Administration stops the wall of students from moving any closer, and there is nothing but passion pouring out on the front-lines, students chanting for their cause.

On April 20, just after 10 a.m., around 200 students walked out of the commons doors, joining hundreds of thousands of others across the United States, to advocate for change regarding current gun laws. The date the walkouts took place, April 20, holds a significant place in history as it is the anniversary of one of the first school shootings, Columbine, which took the lives of 13 in 1999. Students at LSE walked out to take a step towards making sure no one has to ask the question, ‘am I next?’, ever again.

For Junior Aisha Monismith, to walk out or to not walk out was not even a question. Monismith said she is fed up with having to hear about a shooting every two days, which at this point to her, is no longer an exaggeration.

“I’m fed up with [gun violence] being so common that we just hear ‘16 died’ and it’s really like – When are you going to stop? It shouldn’t be a thing that happens as frequently as it does.”

Monismith said she thought the walkout was a success and an example of what a good demonstration looks like. She is hoping that this will strengthen the need for new legislation on the issue of gun control.

“[The walkout] was very clear, nobody was just sitting there – it wasn’t wishy-washy on the issue. We had speakers that spoke for the good of the group and, for the most part, everybody agreed with everything everybody was saying,” said Monismith. “And you know, there’s no gray area for what we’re standing for, and I think it’s important that you use your voice in any way you can so that people know there’s an issue.”

Amongst the crowd of walkout participants, signs stated statistics on lives lost and exploited the fear these guns caused for students when they walked into school every day.

“We chanted over and over again for a reason because, like I said previously, we hear too often that one person was injured or two people were killed at this school, or church, or movie theater,” said Monismith. “Or just a place where guns shouldn’t be in general. Where you should be able to feel safe and not have to be on guard. We’re tired and we want change.”

For students looking to get involved in activism within their school Monismith says the best thing you can do is stay informed. There are always people that will want to combat your morals no matter what views you carry and will attempt to dismantle your beliefs on unwarranted comparisons and otherwise.

“Even if it’s just as simple as turning on notifications for a credible news source on Twitter, or having news updates on your phone. Just getting snippets of information and reading that instead of just going off of what you hear. Just staying updated as best as you can because there’s so much fake news, it’s a thing. There is actually so much out there that now we have to spend more time deciphering what’s real and what’s not,” said Monismith. “You need to stay informed to have accurate information to form a belief that’s accurate – so you have ground to stand on. Like if someone came up to you and challenged your belief, you’d know what to say and not just be standing there.”

Students link arms on the practice field of LSE.