By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck High School students joined students nationwide in a walkout on Wednesday morning.
The event, called a “controlled walkout” started at 10 am. and lasted for 17 minutes – one minute for each person killed one month ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
It was there that a former student came into the school and killed 17 students and adults with an assault-styled weapon.
The purpose of the walkout was two-fold: to push lawmakers to adopt gun control laws and to memorialize those who died in Parkland.
Hamtramck students massed around the high school’s flagpole, with some students holding a poster with the name and photo of each person killed in Parkland.
Mahnaz Begum, an 11th grader, spoke at the gathering, saying that since the 1999 Columbine school shooting, 122 students have died in gun massacres. (According to FBI statistics, the number is actually higher at144.)
“Why are we still having this problem?” Begum asked. “How many lives have to be lost before gun laws are changed?”
Begum added that teenagers have easy access to guns.
“It’s time to take a stand and use our voices,” she said. “We stand with Parkland. Do you?”
With that closing remark the 200 students who gathered, despite the chilly 20-degree temperature, cheered.
A moment of silence was then held and after students returned to their classrooms.