Boise Highlights

Thousands of High School Students Rally At Capitol for Gun Legislation

Students+wave+homemade+signs+outside+the+capitol+building+Wednesday+as+they+protested+stronger+gun+restrictions+in+Idaho+and+the+United+States.
Students wave homemade signs outside the capitol building Wednesday as they protested stronger gun restrictions in Idaho and the United States.

Students wave homemade signs outside the capitol building Wednesday as they protested stronger gun restrictions in Idaho and the United States.

Photo Credit: Sofi Serio

Photo Credit: Sofi Serio

Students wave homemade signs outside the capitol building Wednesday as they protested stronger gun restrictions in Idaho and the United States.

Sofi Serio, Managing Editor

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On March 14th, at exactly 10 am, students across the country flowed out of school buildings and made their way to state capitols and football fields. Some walked out of their school for 17 minutes, honoring the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting just one month before. Others held demonstrations and rallies that lasted for hours.

Boise High School and surrounding schools like North, Borah, Timberline, Capital, One Stone, Sage and several others joined student walkouts across the country in what one historian calls the largest student-led nationwide walkout in US history.

More than 200 Boise High Students streamed out of class at 10 am, joining thousands across the nation in protesting the lack of gun legislation and made their way to the Idaho State capitol. News reporters, anticipating the flow of high school students to the Capitol, had cameras at the ready outside Boise High. They followed brigades of students as they walked the three blocks to the capitol. In addition to media attention, there was also the support of passerby cars. As students walked, cars honked their horns in support and Boise High’s principal Robb Thompson stood at a street corner, helping police officers stopping traffic.

Sophomore Harriet Parkinson was truly amazed with how many people showed up on Wednesday.

“I was definitely surprised by the huge crowds. I knew this was an issue many students felt strongly about, but often times the sacrifice of missing school can hold a lot of people back. The flood of people walking together from Boise High to the Capitol was astonishing and made me proud to be part of such an incredible group of involved students.”

At the capitol, upwards of 1,000 students squeezed onto the steps, and chants of “Enough is Enough!” “This is What Democracy Looks Like!”, as well as “NRA Go Away!” echoed for blocks in the surrounding downtown district. Parents also joined in supporting the cause, toting signs like “The Kids Can+Will Succeed” and “Something > Nothing”.

Above the resounding chants and cheers were speeches filled with messages of empowerment, hope and sorrow.

Boise High’s ASB president Acey Norris spoke about how the threat of gun violence in schools affects teachers in ways often unnoticed to students and parents, as teachers are often not permitted to discuss their stance on politics, and in this case, gun control.

About halfway through Norris’s speech, boos began to emanate from students as they witnessed a man emerge from the sidelines waving Confederate flag. After a few moments, the crowd quieted and Acey continued on with her speech, the flag still waving in the background. Throughout the rest of the speeches, parents and supporters followed the man, covering a good portion of his flag with their posters.

At the conclusion of the speeches, students laid down in silence as the names of a handful of victims of school shootings were read aloud.

After the activities outside were finished, students streamed into the capitol to make their voices heard to the lawmakers inside debating a bill on the effects of abortion. From the Senate and House Chambers, “Enough is Enough” could be heard from the Capitol lobby, in addition to booming cheers of encouragement as bull horns blasted messages of frustration over the lack of gun control in Idaho and the United States.

 Regarding the march in its totality, Parkinson was blown away with how students used this opportunity to voice their concerns rather than using the walkout as an excuse to miss school.

“I was impressed by how widespread of an impact the student advocates in Florida have had on me and people across the nation. Their calls to action have initiated so much action nationwide. Standing on the Capitol steps, with hundreds of united students demanding change, was a feeling I won’t forget. I was overwhelmed by the power and strength of united voices.”

Overall, many students in addition to Parkinson noted how it was truly powerful to take part in such a historic day. They hope their action will bring about legislative change for an issue very prevalent in the minds of everyone today.

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Thousands of High School Students Rally At Capitol for Gun Legislation