City, South East Students Plan Walkout Against Gun Violence


LH Staff

Art by Estie Dillard.

Maya Durham and Victor Kalil

With over 15 school shootings since the start of 2018, students at South East Junior High and City High School have coordinated a walkout taking place Monday, February 19th, 2018 at 11 a.m.

“The silence from politicians in response to these horrific incidents over and over again is deafening, and we’re sick and tired of hearing about these shootings happening with no action,” said Esti Brady ’20. “It’s like the people in power don’t see this as their problem. And we, as students, are paying the price for their lack of action. [We’re] going to show them that is where that ends.”

Although the walkout has already been scheduled, students are worried that the weather could disrupt the event.

“I just want to have people caution themselves while doing this. It’s high traffic areas with possible storms,” said Teagan Roeder ’18. “I frankly just want to send out a powerful message for the best effect.”

Principal John Bacon is also planning on having a moment of silence for the 17 students that were killed in the most recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the immediate inspiration for this walkout.

Bihotza James-Lejarcegui ’18, who was involved in planning the walkout, is inspired by the students’ activism.

It’s admirable that junior high students are taking initiatives to speak out and show the administration, the school district, and most importantly our politicians where they stand with gun violence,” said James-Lejarcegui. “And everyone should encourage and support them.”

James-Lejarcegui and other students across the Iowa City High Schools are planning to write letters, call state representatives, and register students to vote.

Most importantly, we want to make sure students are aware of which politicians are voting against gun reform and are being funded by the NRA,” she said. “Because it is in our power to vote them out and they are just as guilty as the shooter themselves if they gain money by putting guns into the hands of mentally ill people and risk our lives.

City High students plan to walk to South East and meet junior high students there, then march to the Old Capitol together. They will be making posters during second period in the City High library.

We will be updating this story as more information is made available.