Milton students host various events to show support for Parkland victims and anti-gun violence

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Milton students host various events to show support for Parkland victims and anti-gun violence

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After the recent Parkland high school shooting, many teenagers are voicing their opinion in support of the Florida school. Students in schools near Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS are hosting marches and demonstrations to show their support. The practice has caught wind throughout other high schools, including Milton.

While most students in other states left their school for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students, some are leaving school for hours to march to the closest political office. Milton students are planning their demonstrations and have already started gathering supplies and donations. However, Jeff Rose, Fulton County’s Superintendent, has not shown much support for the idea.

On February 22, Dr. Rose sent out an email regarding the plans for a Milton walkout, explaining to parents that their students would get unexcused absences or worse punishments if they disrupted an instructional day. Parents and students alike argued with the decision and claimed it hindered students’ rights to voice their opinion. After the backlash, Dr. Rose sent another email and told parents students would be able to participate in the events as long as they did it during lunch periods and were respectful to the classes around them.

Principal Jones has shown unlimited support for the events. In a recent email, Jones stated he is planning on making both marches excused absences as long as students bring notes from parents allowing them to participate. Jones is also planning on rearranging the bell schedule, allowing students to gather around the flagpole as Smera Dhal gives a speech on the recent news.

Already, students at Milton have dates set for various demonstrations. This Saturday, March 3, is a march to Karen Handel’s office, 6 miles away. Students will meet on the front lawn with posters and signs at 10 am.

On March 14, a day of silence will be held to mourn the 17 victims. Finally, there will be a national demonstration on April 20. Schools around the country are planning to walk out of school at 10:15 am to show their stance against gun violence.

Smera Dhal, a junior at Milton and one of the driving forces behind the protests, believes it is the time for a change. Her motivation for starting the demonstrations at Milton came from her friend, a witness of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting who texted her during the massacre. The texts struck a chord with Dhal, so she joined other students in showing their support and voicing their opinion. “No legislator should allow powerful weapons in the hands of people who aren’t capable of using them,” Dhal concludes.

In addition to the walkout, there are other ways to assist those who have suffered loss in Parkland. The students at Stoneman Douglas High School have been through a lot within the past month, but they should not have to go through it alone. The high school has asked schools nationwide to send in letters of support of their students, and Milton students have responded. Multiple classes along with clubs like Student Council have already sent in many letters to comfort the kids who have only recently returned to the same place they witnessed a tragedy. Any student at Milton can create their letter and send it to the students of Stoneman Douglas High School by giving it to Mrs. Saren in room 3202, and students are also currently able to sign posters in the cafeteria that will be sent to the school as well. Even a short sentence or two in a letter shows that students in Georgia have their back and can brighten their day.