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Freeman Walk Out

April 20, 1999, two high school boys unleashed their anger on their classmates. I was 16 that year. The news of it was unfathomable.

Fast-forward twenty years and their have been too many school shootings to count. There are issues defining “school shooting” which makes statistics more difficult. But many believe, including the children documented below, that there have been too many shootings and not enough action.

On the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, schools froma cross the nation took part in a National Walk Out in hopes of accelerating gun control.

One of these schools is Freeman High School.

In September 2017, a young boy hid a rifle in a black duffle back which he brought to school. He fatally shot a classmate and wounded three others.
This post is not meant to change minds or to analyze what happened on that day or why. The images below are to show what is happening now, how the conversation is changing. Rockford, home to Freeman High School, is a conservative town. More than likely, a walkout here wouldn’t have occurred at all if the shooting last September didn’t happen. And even still, the dialogue is fairly conservative with many students exercising their right to stay in and not participate.

The small school, with under 400 students, still participated though. About 67 students walked out, joined by a handful of students from the Middle School across the street. A few students gave speeches and one girl sang a song she wrote herself. Volunteers helped students register to vote before the students returned to class. While the walkout was less than an hour, it was a sign of the conversation changing at Freeman.

Central Valley

Less than 15 minutes away, another school had a walkout. They gathered at a local park with another high school. Volunteers helped maintain the peace as anti-walkout protestors stood in the parking lot with their own pro-gun signs.

Central Valley High and University High students in Spokane Valley joined together for speeches and camaraderie, letter writing and voter registration.

Sign entering Freeman

Kids gathering outside Freeman High School

Kids marching out of Freeman High School

Freeman WalkOut

Kids from Freeman Middle and Elementary school walking out

Walking onto football field

Speech 1 at football field

Speech 2 at football field

Signing up to vote

gathering to walk back

Walking with flag

Boys walking back with sign

Carrying flag back into class

 

anti-gun poster

anti-gun poster

Speech

Speech

kids on swings

Speeches at Central Valley

Speeches at Central Valley 2

Speeches at Central Valley 3

Sign at walkout

clapping

Kids cheering