A Month After the Walkout and Haverford is Still Marching

Ingrid Slater, News Editor, Contributor

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On March 14th, as mass of Haverford High School students descended upon the track to protest gun violence. The unity rally was a stunning success, with student organizers delivering moving and thoughtful speeches. Nearly every speaker urged their peers to continue to fight for their values (gun related or otherwise) after the walk out on their own time. In the month since this protest, many Haverford students have headed this call. Here’s what they’ve been up to.

Social Media: Shortly after the Haverford unity rally, students flooded social media with photos of their signs, political quotes, and hashtags such as #walkout , #endgunviolence , #gunreformnow , and more. Students encouraged each other through these posts while also spreading awareness to social media users outside of Haverford – truly making the most of the March 14th protest.

Voter Registration: Protesting alone is only part of the equation of changing government policy – voting is the strongest statement a U.S. citizen can make. Haverford students are well aware of this, including sophomore and co-president of Young Democrats club June Park who voiced this knowledge when she said, “If you want change, you gotta register to vote if you’re eligible to vote. And you gotta vote the people out that are allowing guns to stay in school.”

The Young Democrats and Young Republicans clubs joined forces to help eligible student register to vote. An assembly was held where seniors were encouraged to register and given registration forms with simplified instructions. Eligible seniors were able to submit completed forms to the young Dems and Republicans at lunches. After May 15th, a whole new wave of seniors will be able to register to vote.

March for Our Lives: On March 24, a bus filled with Haverford students embarked on the 3 hour journey to Washington D.C. for the March for Our Lives. The bus, which was organized by the Young Democrats, held students from all different grade levels as well as a few parent volunteers. One senior in attendance, Briana Creeley, considered what she hoped to achieve from marching, saying, “I hope people see how the tides are changing and I hope to encourage other people to become more politically active so we can actually get something done.”

The march was organized by the newly famous Mary Stoneman-Douglas student activists Chris Hoggs, Emma Gonzalez and many more. However, the rally did not only focus on the Parkland shooting or even mass shootings in general. Student speakers from areas such as Chicago and Southern Los Angeles spoke about the everyday civilian gun violence as well as the police brutality that plagues their community. Musical artists such as Demi Lovato, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Jennifer Hudson (who experienced the loss of a loved one to gun violence) performed anthems to the crowd of roughly 800,000 protestors. Despite the fact that the young speakers came from different backgrounds and had different experiences with gun violence, nearly every speaker ended their speech either a call to contact state representatives and vote in upcoming elections.

Junior Tommy Barnes reflected on his experience at the rally, stating, “What I took away from it is now I need to start going around our home town and spread the word [on gun violence] for everyone who missed this march.”

April 20th Walk Out: After the success of the unity rally in March, Haverford students have been anxious to do more to protest gun violence, with some dissatisfied in the apolitical direction of the unity rally. Currently, students are planning to walk out of school on April 20th at 10am. Students will proceed to occupy Darby road for the rest of the school day. Unlike the unity rally, the administration is not involved in this protest.

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