St. Francis High School student walkout April 20th

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March 5, 2018

St. Francis Catholic High School,

April 20th will be a day where students across the United States will stand up for our protection in schools and public places, and we wish to join them in raising our voices to not only protect ourselves but stand in solidarity with those whose lives have been abruptly ended by a previous mass shootings. The students whose names are listed on this petition wish to participate in the National Student Walkout on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. We would like to call attention to our current predicament as a nation and our need for stricter firearms regulation and stronger law enforcement. We want to participate in this movement so that the students of tomorrow will not have to fear for their safety in public and private institutions of education.

Though many of us will participate in the walkout on March 14th as well, which you have kindly allowed us to take part in by organizing a prayer service, we would like to organize an additional walkout on April 20th that will be a collaborative student effort. We appreciate student council’s involvement and the inclusive school effort that will be the walkout on March 14th; however, we would like your permission to walk out in April as an independent, student-led event. If we may, we would like to take organizing the April walkout into our own hands and claim it as an effort that is genuinely of and for the students. This will also give our students the opportunity to choose whether they would like to be represented in the walkout, and those who would prefer not to identify with the movement may elect not to be a part of it.

We recognize that St. Francis High School is a safe environment, both as a strong sisterhood of faith and a center of academic and athletic, excellence; because of our own values in having a secure and stable education where we as students can nurture our abilities and grow together, we feel that it is our duty to stand up for those that do not have the security that we are fortunate to have for granted. The incident in the immediate vicinity of Sacred Heart School on February 22nd was too close to home for some of us, especially those of us who have attended Sacred Heart or have friends or families there.

At St. Francis, we as students spend our time in high school to learn, recognize, and utilize our core beliefs. The National Student Walkout is the perfect time for us to embody our school year theme and truly be a voice for the voiceless. There have been many shootings like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, including Sandy Hook, UC Santa Barbara, Virginia Tech, and many, many others in the past six years alone. In every instance, not one person was able to foresee the events that would happen, and any school could have been placed in the same situation. No school is untouchable.

As we understand the safety concern that comes with letting students off campus without parental consent and the liability issues such a walkout might bring, we ask not to leave campus but to have the privilege of independent organization on campus. 

As human beings, friends, and students of compassion and love, we cannot and will not remain silent when face-to-face with the cruel injustice. We must challenge gun violence and ask for our government to recognize the precarious situation of schools and citizens everywhere. Our action is only the first step toward our healing and promoting of dignity and well-being of students across the nation. With this walkout, we embody the meaning of “speaking so our voices will be heard” in one of the strongest ways possible and demonstrate our principles of Leadership and Service.

With utmost gratitude,

The students, parents, and alumni of TroubieChange