GBHS students participate in national walkout

In hopes to end school shooting tragedies, Grizzlies speak up and stand up for action to be taken


Max Schwartz

Senior Thomas Larkin gives a passionate and emotional speech to urge students to take action and end school gun violence.

Max Schwartz, Brayden Johnk, Sports Editor, Co-Editor-in-Chief

  It was a cold Wednesday morning, with a chill breeze running through the trees and light frost on the grass. But this bold weather was overshadowed by the even bolder sense of unity from Granite Bay High School’s student body walking out to end gun violence.

  Countless schools nationwide participated in the National Student Walkout today, where millions of high school students left their classes to join their companions in light of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

  The walkout lasted from 10:00 to 10:17 a.m., each minute representing one of the 17 lives lost in the deadly Florida tragedy.

  On a local scale, several hundred GBHS students took to Wellington Road to perform their silent protests, even taking up a lane in the street. Placer County sheriffs were also present, along with school administration and teachers to ensure safety.

  This event was entirely student-run, with two students, senior Georgia Seagraves and junior Bethany Brooding, behind the organization.

  “I thought of organizing the walkout within four or five days of the (Stoneman Douglas) shooting,” Brooding said. “I’d been discussing with some people in (Drama) class and (Georgia) was interested, so she came and helped.”

  Recent school events actually prompted Brooding to take action.

  “I know that school safety has been an issue for a while, especially with the recent shooti

Although a lot of the ideas were my own, I felt like I was kind of working with the rest of the country,”

— Bethany Brooding, junior

ng in Parkland,” Brooding said. “(With) the personal experience for everyone here at Granite Bay with the lockdown, I just felt even more of an element of unsafety.”

  However, Brooding didn’t go about her goals alone.

  “Although a lot of the ideas were my own, I felt like I was kind of working with the rest of the country,” Brooding said.

  Along with the walkout, there were also speeches performed by fellow students who voiced their emotion and advocated for change.

  Senior Thomas Larkin was one of the four speakers of the protest.

  “I thought it would be an opportunity that I should take advantage of,” Larkin said.

  Larkin’s speech was heavily focused on the change that can be made by students.

  “I wanted to capture (in my speech) that the students gathering in the group have a political efficacy, not (allowing) just the government telling them ‘this is the way it is and this is the way it’s going to be,’” Larkin said

  Due to the numbers of protests and other student organizations calling for change, Larkin used this momentum in his speech.

  “We have a very great opportunity here because it is the first time that Congress is really starting to listen (to) what students are saying and what changes that students want to happen,” Larkin said.

  Faculty made sure to exclude personal  or political opinions they may have had on the event as a whole.

  “I am just proud of (the students) that they are exercising their free speech and first amendment respectfully,” principal Jennifer Leighton said.

  The reality of these events has become prevalent to all, not just students.

  “We are just as scared as you all are,” Leighton said.

  This fear has resulted in drills and safety measures that the school has held to prepare if such an event occurred.

  “I am sure our teachers will do anything for the kids, but I hope they are never going to have to,” Leighton said.

  GBHS held a rally honoring the victims of the Parkland shooting in the morning prior to the walkout, with Leighton being one of many behind the scenes working on making it truly impactful and meaningful.

  “It felt so great, the kids really cared (about the victims),” Leighton said.

  With both events on the same day, Granite Bay came together to make a change.

  “This morning has been incredibly moving to me,” Leighton said. “The heart and soul came out of Granite Bay today.”