Students at valley high schools, UNLV organize wide spread walk out


Just three weeks after students walked out of class at a couple of local high schools, there are plans for a more wide-spread demonstration that will happen Wednesday.

According to the students their message is simple: Somebody needs to do something about gun violence.

The walk out on Wednesday is the second time locals have seen teens organizing to stand in solidarity with their fellow high school students in Parkland, Florida.

Students at Virgin Valley, Del Sol High School, Valley, Desert Oasis, Las Vegas Academy, The Meadows, Legacy, and Basic high schools plan to walk out of class Wednesday morning.

“We’re expecting 200, to possibly more than 400 students to show up tomorrow,” said Jake Rouse, a senior at Las Vegas Academy.

Rouse is one of the organizers of the walkout, a show of solidarity with students across the district, and around the country.

“They’re going to come out to the front of our main building on the other side of campus, and they’re going to show their support to the people in Parkland,” Rouse said. “The main message that we’re trying to get across is that we want something to happen; we need something to change. It’s been too long, and we’ve had too many shootings where students are needlessly losing their lives.”

The latest round of walk-outs comes just three weeks after students briefly demonstrated at two valley high schools.

Single student: “What do we want?”
Chanting from other students: “Gun control!” 
Student: “When do we want it?” 
Chanting from other students: “Now!”

“I’ve been impacted by it a lot, said Leila Barrios, a sophomore. “It’s just crazy to think kids my age are; their hopes and their dreams, they don’t get to see them come true.”

Leila and Jonny Angelo participated in the Silverado High School walkout.

“It’s amazing how kids our age can pull together and do something like this, and protest something that we believe in,” Jonny said.

The school district says it “shares the community’s concerns with school safety” and says it encourages students to express their opinions.

The district has approved some pre-planned activities like the one planned at Las Vegas Academy and at least six other schools.

“We have 27 teachers’ signatures that are on board with this, said Rouse.  “We’ve got the full support of the administration now, so it’s looking pretty good.”

The Clark County School District also clarified that for non-approved activities, teachers could mark students who walk out of class as tardy or absent if they’re gone for more than 30 minutes.
At that point, attendance policies related to extracurricular activities apply.

UNLV students are also planning to walk out of classes Wednesday and conduct a demonstration that will last 17 minutes. That’s one minute for each of the victims killed in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting.
Organizers are expected to live-stream that walkout.

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