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    March 14 events push free speech


    Students rally to support victims; also make voices heard

    [dropcap size=small]A[/dropcap]s the nutrition bell rang on Mar. 14 2018, students flooded out of their second period and into the quad–not to be the first in line for a snack–but to rally. The so-called walkout, a cooperative effort between PRHS officials and various clubs, was planned in response to the Parkland school shooting, which took the lives of 17 on Feb. 14. School coordinators had provided a speaker and an assembly focused on kindness and positivity.

    The 17 minute break–17 minutes for the 17 victims of Parkland–featured presentations by the Progressive Club, the Equality Club, and the Leadership class talking about anti bullying, gun reform, and a table of solidarity for lives lost due to school shootings. Students had signs and posters displaying the victims and mapped out all the school shootings of 2017 and 2018. Nearly twenty students registered to vote at one table.

    “Today was about getting people to feel like their voices are heard, to get involved in government, and that they can contribute to the big decisions being made,” said Senior Kat Dickinson, who helped lead the organization of the rally.

    In response to this event, President of the Conservative club, Junior Justin Smith, led a rally in support of the Second Amendment. An instagram post from the Conservative Club, they stated the following.

    “Dear fellow Conservative Bearcats… today we showed our support for our second amendment rights and I couldn’t be prouder of the club for coming together to stand for something we all believe in…”

    The counter protesters bore flags reading “Trump; Make America Great Again” and “Don’t Tread on Me.” Along with flags, the group paraded with signs across campus into the parking lot where the rally fizzled out.

    Student rallies seemed to involve good intentions. But as the day continued on, some disruptions ensued; calling for more action from administration. Political tensions seemed to flare up periodically, but the response from admin consisted of a call to parents/guardians informing them of the day’s happenings. By the end of the day, students were swapping Snapchat videos of several of the altercations, though these seemed unrelated to politics.

    “This was supposed to be in memory of the seventeen people who passed away, and [the liberals] turned it into gun control” said Junior Kylie Rivers.

    The memories of those seventeen will live on, and students will continue to have divisions, but despite all the complicated matters, PRHS stands proud of what they believe in.

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