Herriman High School students join national walkout for gun change, safety

Mar 14, 2018, 4:29 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2018, 12:03 am

HERRIMAN — There are some lessons you just can’t learn inside a classroom. That’s why about 200 Herriman High School students decided to go outside Wednesday morning.

“I just hope it opens up the discussion and it gets the ball rolling on actual change,” said Conor Spahr, who helped organize the walkout.

Student organizers lead other Herriman High School students to the football field.

It was all part of the national school walkout for gun change and safety. Students in schools all across Utah, and the nation, walked out of classes at 10 a.m.

Their goal is to start the discussion and find solutions on how they can end gun violence, especially at schools.

“So many mass shootings have happened time and time again and there’s been no change and nothing has happened and we don’t want that to continue,” said Spahr.

The Herriman students walked out the front doors of the school, then went around the building to the football field in the back of the school.

Once there, the students stood for 17 minutes of silence; one minute for each victim of the Parkland, Florida high school shootings.

RELATED: Students walk out at Mountain View in Orem, where they know reality of school violence

“We’re going to read a name for every minute, OK?” said Stefanie Camara Manoel, another organizer of the march who is also a senior at Herriman.

As the names were read, some students had tears, others held signs with messages such as “Blood is on your hands, NRA” and “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

Each student knew they were part of something bigger than themselves.

“Doing this and joining thousands of schools across the country, it really was something I feel is important,” said Camara Manoel. “It’s just something I feel passionate about, advocating for things that just need to happen.”

“It’s more than getting out of class for me. It’s standing up and saying things needs to change,” said Emily Butler, one of the students who marched Wednesday morning. “There are things that need to change in the gun industry and I’m extremely proud of my classmates for coming out here and showing there needs to be change.”

RELATED: Many Utah students stayed indoors while classmates walked out to honor Florida victims

Butler said she knows she would be marked with an absence for the class she’s missing. However, she also feels some things are more important.

“I’m supporting this cause because sooner or later, it’s going to come around and hit us if we don’t do anything,” she said.

And while no one wants to see another school shooting, these students feel it’s going to take more than hoping it doesn’t happen to them.

“Tomorrow, I want to see students still talking about it,” said Spahr. “I want to see it in class. I want to see people saying that we need to go out and contact representatives and continue this momentum that we have going forward.”

Herriman High School is one of thousands of schools across the country that participated in walkouts  for gun change and safety. Student organizers lead other Herriman High School students to the football field. About 200 Herriman High School students participated in the walkout. Students held several signs with anti-violence messages. The students walked out the front doors of the school, and went around the building to the football field. Student leaders read a name of the Parkland, Florida school shoot each of the 17 minutes. The students stood for 17 minutes of silence. Some of the students held signs calling for gun reform. Some students held signs, others held back tears.
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Herriman High School students join national walkout for gun change, safety