Students, staff walk out at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School to protest gun violence

Students at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School demanded change by holding a walkout Wednesday to protest recent gun violence and honor the young lives lost in Uvalde, Texas.

Jun 1, 2022, 12:16 PM

Updated 681 days ago

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Students at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School demanded change by holding a walkout Wednesday to protest recent gun violence and honor the young lives lost in Uvalde, Texas.
“I would just like to see a world where people don’t have to live in fear, to live their lives where students don’t have to fear to go to school, to live like a kid, to go to elementary school and that’s what this is about,” junior Kaitlyn Rosenzweig said.
The students organized the walkout with the help of school staff, including their principal, who says they were inspired by a similar walkout put together after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
“On the one hand, it’s a sense of pride for me that the students would reach out to me wanting to do something, wanting to make change and do something for the betterment of others and the nation. But on the other hand, it’s very sad that we are in this place yet again and nothing really has changed,” principal James Murray said.
But this time, students say something has to be done. They acknowledge their views are different about what exactly that change is, whether it be stricter gun laws, funding for increased school safety measures, or wider access to mental health resources, but they all agree the nation cannot lose any more innocent lives.
“We can all agree that these kids shouldn’t have died, and the kids in the future shouldn’t have to feel fear when they’re going to school,” walkout organizer and senior Ashlyn Woo said. “We should focus on that rather than all the other things.”
The students say it has become their generation’s responsibility to solve this problem that affects kids and communities across the nation. They say despite an increase in threats following the Texas shooting, they won’t give up the fight to create positive change and encourage others to do the same.

“It’s definitely frustrating because there’s people trying to create a positive change and then there’s people trying to counter that. But I think that the best thing you can do is stand up and continue to advocate for what you’re passionate about and that’s going to prevent things from happening again,” Rosenzweig said.
“They could be a change-maker. They don’t have to leave this up to the adults. Because this affects everyone, adults, us, our future generations,” Woo said. “If I ever choose to have children, it’s going to affect them, and I don’t want it to - so I want them to realize they can be a part of change.”

Throughout the day, the students and teachers also went through their active shooter safety protocols in each class. They say they do active shooter drills every month and have installed other technology in the halls and at the entrances to keep students safe.  


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