Utah (ABC4) — After several fake active shooter threats, students at high schools throughout Utah staged walk-outs on Friday to protest gun violence and other concerns.
On March 31, students at Springville Highschool and Maple Mountain Highschool walked out of school in a reported protest against recent gun violence after a school shooting in Tennessee.
Maple Mountain Highschool was one of the schools that protested against gun violence. One student said the purpose of the walkout was to “oppose the normalization of firearms in our culture.”
They said the protest will show the students and staff they care, represent their beliefs in the student body, and will create grounds for future planned protests and political movements in the local community.
Some of the signs students held at Maple Mountain said, “protect our safety,” and “united we stand.”
The student who organized the walkouts at Maple Mountain Highschool, Christopher Dorny, said that he was grateful for the outcome of the walkout today, and for the high school administration in allowing it.
“I’m really grateful for all the people that stood behind me[…]I’m also really grateful for the administration protecting the freedom of speech rights for the protestors, and the counter-protestors, they did a great job protecting the student safety.”
Dorny said he hopes this will start a larger local movement to push for safer gun legislation, and for student safety to be prioritized at schools.
“Many people think we’re just trying to revoke your property (guns),” Dorny said. “However, we’re looking for a much more rudimentary safety, such as thorough background checks, licenses, or safety classes.”
Dorny said they are planning on continued activism through the coming months, and said students at Maple Mountain were grateful for the local movement, and for students at other local high schools that participated in the walk.
According to students at Springville, they wanted to protest gun violence, as well as homophobia.
This comes after an uproar over the school shooting, as well as the sexual identity of the school shooter in Tennessee, Audrey Hale, 28. Hale was originally identified as a woman by authorities but later referred to as a transgender man due to pronouns on their social media.
One of the protest signs held up at Springville High said, “it’s not what’s in my [pants], it’s the [guns]”
The students stood at the corner of 900 South in Springville holding up their signs for passersby to see. “We shouldn’t have to be afraid,” one sign read. “Fund schools, not gun lobbyists,” another sign read.