Photo by RJ Chavez
Student activists (pictured) blocked off the doors near the main office at Hood River Valley High School on June 5 to demonstrate frustration over gun violence that continues to be a problem at schools across America. Students held up signs that read “March OR Die,” and “March For Our Lives,” blocking off the hallways.
As of Friday, June 8, 2018
On June 5 at 11:55 a.m., the first bell rang after lunch to remind students at Hood River Valley High School that the next class period would begin in five minutes.
On the way to class, many students were met by a wall.
Not a regular wall, but a wall of students standing up for change.
School shootings continue to headline news outlets across America, with one of the more recent shootings coming on May 18 at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the 17-year-old shooter who was a student at Santa Fe High School, killed 10 and injured 13 in his malicious attack.
The victims who lost their lives during the Santa Fe shooting were Jared Black, age 17; Shana Fisher, 16; Christian Riley Garcia, 15; Aaron Kyle McLeod, 15; Glenda Anne Perkins, 64 (teacher); Angelique Ramirez, 15; Sabika Sheikh, 17 (exchange student from Pakistan); Christopher Stone, 17; Cynthia Tisdale, 63 (teacher); and Kimberly Vaughan, 14.
It’s not just the shooting at Sante Fe High School that caused students at HRVHS to bring attention to the issue of gun violence in America again, recalling the walkout many participated in during March of this year, but the other 15 school shootings that have happened at schools across America so far in 2018 and the 64 incidents of gunfire on school grounds in 2017 as well. On Tuesday, students at HRVHS blocked off the doors near the main office that separate the lunch room and hallways leading to the back parking lot of the high school.
Organizers, including Grace Whitmore, Montserrat Garrido and Eva Jones, chose to block off these doors specifically because a majority of students at the high school have to head that way after lunch to get to class, forcing students to acknowledge the stand-in.
“March OR Die,” and “March For Our Lives,” signs were held up by students who blocked off both sides of the main doors.
Students not involved with the planning of the stand-in treated it in two different ways.
Many students walking from the lunch room and towards their third period class stopped to join in on the stand-in, but there were plenty of students who made their way right through the students advocating for change.
“Push through, they have to move,” “We need to go to class,” and “It seems like we’re doing this every day,” were just some of the sound bites from students as they walked through and past the stand-in.
Regardless of whether students participated in the stand-in or not, organizers of the event continued to hold their ground for the entirety of the passing time to make sure their classmates were aware of what was going on: A resilient group of students standing up for change.