Victor Students Against Gun Violence
Dear Victor Senior High School Administrators,
I am writing on behalf of myself and other students who are planning to participate in a nationwide school walkout on March 14th, 2018 at 10 a.m. to protest Congress’ inaction in regards to gun violence in schools.
As high school students and as people in a nation that allows widely unrestricted, unmonitored gun ownership, we know our lives are at risk in the places we are supposed to be safe. In the wake of the recent Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and countless prior school shootings, we are infuriated with Congress allowing potentially violent people to own assault weapons. We believe it is our duty to take action in order to instigate reform that will ensure all students are safe in their schools.
We want to be clear that this is a peaceful act of civil disobedience in regards to the inaction of our national government. Although this protest will occur on the school campus, we are not protesting Victor Schools. According to the 1969 Supreme Court case Tinker vs. Des Moines, students retain their constitutional right to freedom of speech when they are on school grounds. In keeping with our aforementioned right, we will leave classes for a short period of time in order to gather outside and state our appeal for gun reform legislation. If Victor finds this short absence unacceptable, we will comply with the resulting disciplinary action of an illegal absence.
Although we promise to be civil, we know that this walkout is not a normal part of the school day, and therefore Victor may feel that we are violating the part of our code of conduct under #5300.30, section A, bullet 5, which prohibits students from “engaging in any willful act which disrupts the normal operation of the school community.” In that case, please know that our action to ensure our collective right to school safety is backed by virtue, not malice. Our deep commitment to working toward a safer school environment and a more peaceful world is what truly demonstrates our respect for our school.
We understand that Victor is a public school and therefore cannot endorse a political movement such as this one. However, we ask for your compliance as we exercise our right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Our education at Victor has taught us to be kind even when we are angry, to be brave even when we are scared, and to be righteous even when we are opposed by people in power. Victor has educated us about people who perpetuated injustice and people who stood up to it. We are the people who stand up to injustice.
Victor Senior High School Students and Elanor Nadorff