Hays Middle School Students Take Stance on Gun Violence with Walkout


Typically, when middle school kids skip school, people see it as kids being kids. However, this was not the case when roughly 50 Hays middle schoolers staged a walkout on Monday in protest of the recent Florida high school shooting that occurred on Valentine’s Day.

Student survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have begun advocating for stricter gun laws and have started a nationwide movement to end gun violence. These teen activists have inspired many other students around the country to be vocal about gun violence and to open up the debate over gun control.

Stoneman Douglas High students have gained a lot of attention over the past few weeks. After marching to the Florida capital, participating in a CNN town hall, and gaining massive followings on social media, these teens have sparked a shift in the gun control debate that may actually have a lasting impact. As a result, many students across the nation have followed suit. In fact, according to USA Today, students have planned a nationwide student walkout for March 14.

However, some students have already held their own walkouts to protest gun violence in the meantime. A school in St. Louis become the home to a walkout on the same day as the Hays Middle School walkout, according to The Hill. However, as The Hill reports, the St. Louis students met with resistance from school officials during the walkout. The students were not allowed to return to school that day after participating in the protest and faced the possibility of disciplinary action.

The Hays Middle School walkout was more amicable, with faculty members praising the student’s good behavior and openness to discussion, according to the Hays Post. The middle schoolers only stepped out for 17 minutes: one minute for each life lost during the Florida shooting. No disciplinary action was taken by school officials against the students.

Along with the walkout, a threat against Hays High last month has ignited a community discussion about safety within schools.

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