Students Rally Tomorrow At Staples; Townwide Event Set For Veterans Green

When students across America walk out of classes tomorrow — to commemorate the Columbine massacre exactly 19 years ago, and demand an end to gun violence — there will be a strong Staples High School presence.

A passionate group of students has planned a day of activities. From 10 a.m. — when the Colorado shooting began —  until 2:15 p.m., they’ll fill the large courtyard.

The rally will include student speakers, music, poetry, calls to senators and congressmen, a petition, poster-making, and voter registration.

Students who attend will be marked “unexcused” from class. But, leaders say, that’s a small price to pay for taking a stand on an important issue.

At 3 p.m., Staples students invite the entire town to a post-walkout rally on Veterans Green, across from Town Hall. State senator candidate (and Staples graduate) Will Haskell will speak. There will be student speeches too, along with music and poetry.

“We have a lot to say, and we want our voices heard,” say Brooke and Peri Kessler, 2 student leaders.

“We’re not partisan. But we do want everyone to be educated and informed. This is about our safety, and our future.”

The national walkout — an outgrowth of activism after the Parkland shootings in February — was organized just a few miles from Staples, by Ridgefield High School student Lane Murdock.

9 responses to “Students Rally Tomorrow At Staples; Townwide Event Set For Veterans Green

  1. Robert Harrington

    My children have my full permission to leave school to protest. Adults will NEVER get
    the law changed – so I’m not going to stop the generation that WILL get it done.

    Even if they didn’t have my permission they should do it anyway.

  2. A. David Wunsch

    Here is something that might help the students:
    when the 2nd amendment was passed a highly skilled person could get off one shot every 20 seconds. There could have been no mass school shootings. The killer in Newtown Ct fired 150 shots in 300 seconds with his assault rifle. The founding fathers never imagined such a weapon. Since the 18th century ,the Bill of Rights has been interpreted in light of new technologies. Here is something I taught when I was teaching the history of radio. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech.. Up until 1912 anyone who wanted to could go on the air and broadcast code or voice. Then came the sinking of the Titanic . Rescue operations were impeded by all the people sending out radio signals. So Congress passed the radio act of 1912 which said in part that if you wanted to send out a signal you had to be licensed by the government and your station had to conform to certain technical requirements. Your free speech rights were being abridged . But was this a “slippery slope.” ? Nope. If private ownership of assault weapons is banned it doesn’t mean that the government is coming next to take away your grandpa’s Colt 45.
    ADW Staples 1956

  3. Mary Cookman Schmerker SHS '58

    I am proud of these students. I understand that it was started by a girl from Connecticut. I am waiting to hear if my four teenage grandchildren are going to walk out.

    • Right, Mary. The last paragraph of the story notes that the national walkout was started by a girl from Ridgefield High School.

  4. “We Are Victims”……………..says it all.

    • I agree 100%, Bruce. They are victims of a society whose gun culture has run amok; of legislators who are wholly owned subsidiaries of the NRA, and of “patriots” who refuse to acknowledge that America (and weaponry) has changed dramatically in the 200 years since the 2nd Amendment was written.

  5. Bruce McFadden

    So proud of Staples students that I taught for 35 years. They will bring about the much needed change in the voting booths around the country in the near future. I am encouraged. I will be there tomorrow.