Students Demand Action club protests against gun violence

Jessica Velasco

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

Students participated in a demonstration during nutrition which was led by the Students Demand Action club last Thursday. Not only did Hollywood High School walk out, but so did other schools across the nation. 

Around 11:30 a.m., Ashley Castillo -president of Students Demand Action Club- read the victims’ names out loud and held a moment of silence to remember the 19 students who passed away at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

 “To me reading the names and taking the time to recognize the victims, their ages, and what stages they were in their lives is so important because we got to live through 8 years old, but they didn’t, ” Ashley said. “It’s also a reminder of how many people were stolen by gun violence, hearing name after name after name. Everytime you hear a name, your heart sinks a little more, your heart breaks a little more.” 

After the walkout was announced, students then proceeded to walk over to the quad where they chanted “Enough is enough”and held up signs. 

Students and families alike began to protest after the school shooting for better gun legislation at Robb Elementary and the Buffalo supermarket shooting. In both incidents, the guns were bought legally and were AR-15s. Even with that correlation, people still defend the use of such guns.

 “To those people I say, what is your reason, what is the purpose of you having that gun, is it necessary, really necessary, because at the end of the day a lot of these people don’t care until it’s their kid or family member,” Ashley said.

Change is something that Ashley sees as necessary but can also acknowledge won’t be immediate, “Personally, I don’t see the necessity for guns but I don’t think banning them altogether is going to start solving the issue especially because of everything with the Constitution and how everyone interprets it.”

Something that Ashley has stressed through the Students Demand Action Club has been to vote and to remind senators of what the public wants. “I think people need to realize that senators and politicians respond to the masses.They need to hear that students are concerned, they need to hear that students don’t feel safe. They need to be constantly reminded of that and always keep that in mind.”

On the topic of walkouts, another one occurred at the beginning of this week because some students felt that the earlier walkout wasn’t enough. On Memorial Day, an account by the name of @hhsprotests urged students in a post to join their walkout which would emphasize women’s rights and gun control. 

“I believe that walkouts do cause change when they’re done effectively, when they’re done the right way, strategically and planned out. This walkout was out on the streets, and yes they got cars to honk and made some noise, but how many of those cars know which legislators to reach out to,”Ashley said

Unlike the Tuesday walkout, the Thursday walkout had flyers with useful information for students. “I did make flyers with organizations on them, that list all the gun violence organizations that students can support, can follow and reach out to, that have mental health resources. They have all kinds of resources for students,” Ashley said.

In the end, Ashley acknowledged that walkouts are helpful if they’re done the right way. “I’m not against what you did. I think that the only thing is, you can improve what you did. What you did is a great thing, an amazing thing and it’s more of what we need, that’s the motivation we need. But you need to execute it in the correct way. Providing resources, teaching students what they can do, how they can do it. You have to make sure that it’s not only creating noise, but creating noise about the issue. If you have to use things like media then use them to your advantage.”

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