Kohler students joined others around the nation in organizing a student walkout on March 14 in support of gun legislation reform, and to honor the 17 victims of the February 14 Parkland, Florida school shooting.
Organizers said the main purpose for the walkout was to raise local awareness for an issue that is affecting people their age throughout the country. One of the Kohler students participating in the walk knew one of Parkland victims.
“We want to show how we need to value student lives over the value of a gun. We are all the voice of change and in order to make that change, we need to stand together. We must all learn to love together before we work together,” organizers said in a statement. “We believe that students and teachers have the right to teach and learn in an environment free of the fear of being gunned down, and we walk together to compel our legislators to do their job of keeping us safe.”
The organizers provided a petition for signing after the march, which they sent to the offices of Congressman Paul Ryan, Governor Scott Walker, and other Wisconsin legislators to compel them to take action supporting gun reform legislation. The petition received more than 100 signatures.
The petition said, “In terms of human survival, modification of freedom is the necessary price society pays to ensure the safety of the whole. Gun reform is no different. As students and teachers, it is our right to educate and be educated in an environment where we do not have to fear for our lives. With our petition, we also compel you to support legislation which claims arming teachers will solve gun violence. Fighting violence with violence is not a solution. We deserve an educational environment devoid of violence, and it is your duty as our representatives to hear our voices and allow them to influence your course of action.”
The student organizers also sold nearly $100 worth of orange carnations, a symbol of peace for spreading the peace of their message. The organizers said the initiative was entirely student-driven.