Smoke Signals

Blow Away Gun Violence

Courtesy of Pinterest

Courtesy of Pinterest

Jamie Park, Staff Writer

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On March 14, West High School participated in a nationwide school walkout to speak out against gun violence. The walkout was during tutorial, also known as Warrior Workshop, and was split into three zones, each with different activities and purposes.

  Zones 1 and 3 focused on speeches made by students and teachers about what they believe about guns; zone 1 was at the located at the bandshell in Building 8, while zone 3 was located in front of Building 3.

  Zone 2 was more of a creative space: students were provided with materials to create posters to express their thoughts; encouragement cards were spread across a table for students to read and apply to their lives; lastly, several bubbles were placed on tables for students as coping mechanisms. It was set up in front of the library and led by the Smoke Signals advisor, Ms. Marsiglia and Yearbook advisor, Ms. White.

  ASB brought poster materials such as paint, paper, and markers for students to either create their own small poster or sign their names on an existing one. Seniors Jasmin Mirza, Kameryn Mackintosh, Molly Evans, Emily Le, Alizia Mirza, Brenna Wechsler, Julia Dela Merced , and Bellini Rapakshe created a poster that stated: “Our hearts are with you” with the names of the 17 Florida shooting victims.

  Jasmin Mirza’s group put that message because they wanted to demonstrate that the victims of the Florida shooting were not alone. Jasmin Mirza said, “Sometimes when terrible things like this happen, all the attention simply goes to the suspects rather than the victims. We wanted to make sure that those who died were remembered and loved for.”

  On the other hand, Junjie Ye (11) did not feel that the walkout was enough. He said, “Although I felt like we could’ve done more than drawing posters and blowing bubbles, I saw the efforts people put into these activities and realized that people do want to help no matter how small their actions are.”

  In front of the library, a table was set up with different positive messages for students to pick up, read, and reflect the one that most resonated with them. After reading the message out loud, the students would blow bubbles as a way to put out the message spiritually as well as verbally.

  Nathan Chong (10), who participated in the event, said, “Although I don’t remember what I read out loud, it felt nice to state something without people judging me. The bubbles just added to the fun!”

  This walkout was not only for the rising issue of gun violence but an act of support for the Parkland shooting victims and their loved ones.

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