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South Lakes High School Students Stage Walkout In the Aftermath of Florida Shooting

by Fatimah Waseem February 21, 2018 at 1:05 pm 175 Comments

Roughly 350 students at South Lakes High School took part in a walkout at noon today to remember the 17 people killed last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students left the school and stood outside for 17 minutes before returning for class or lunch, school officials said.

A similar walkout happened at Langston Hughes Middle School today. Around 250 students participated in that event.

“I am proud of how the students conducted themselves, including a moment of silence that was very moving,” said SLHS Principal Kim Retzer in a statement.

Here’s more from Retzer:

FCPS respects the rights of our students to engage in peaceful protest and express their opinions through speech and other ways as long as it is done respectfully, does not interfere with the rights of others, and does not disrupt learning in the school.   Our school is committed to providing an environment where everyone is treated with respect and encouraged to help others.

Our teachers, administrators and staff continue to reinforce a sense of positive school community and we ask for your partnership in working with your child to discuss meaningful actions that they can take to engage in their community.

Another walkout is planned for National School Walkout Day on March 14. Schools across the country are expected to walk out to demand action on gun violence and school shootings.

Photo via Twitter user @amandayoungg

  • OhDiosMios

    Flag them all as truant, then have the parents come and pick them up & require ID. Then have ICE there.

    • BDW

      you’re a special piece of crap.

  • Anonymous Person

    If it was during their break, then whatever. If it was a walkout during class, then mark the absence. There are consequences for all kinds of behaviors.

    • Reston Native

      I believe the county actually went away from anything directly punishing for a lack in attendance.

      • Anonymous Person

        Well, if they walked out a class, then that’s a shame because they’re impacting their learning for this sort of walkout. Granted, it’s only 17 minutes so it’s not a big deal, but it seems like you’d just mark the tardy or absence from the one class, and everyone moves on with their lives. And if it was during their lunch break, then it’s not really an absence.

        But I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to say, are you saying that the county is not going to mark any absences for a walkout like this? If that’s true, then I’d have serious concerns about the integrity of the school system if it refuses to accurately record student attendance for political reasons.

        • Mike M

          “Students left the school and stood outside for 17 minutes before returning for class or lunch, school officials said.”

          • Mike M

            Fake Mike M. Why does the left always resort to lies?

        • Reston Realist

          What?? What the students did was very appropriate and they should not be penalized for it. They needed to do it. Without the ability to express themselves as a group (regardless how lame you think the cause may be) is important to kids of that age. It binds them as a group…

          I’m showing my age here, but when I was a student at HHS, we had several walk-outs: Vietnam war protest, civil rights protest, and earth day. Afterwards it seemed like all the disparate cliques got a long a little better – even if it was just for a few days.

          • Mike M

            Sorry hippy, but there is no way they speak for everyone.

          • Reston Realist

            pretty much a non-sequitur…..stick to your rants

          • Mike M

            Pretty much a statement of fact. I am sorry you don’t like it and resort to the gratuitously derogatory. Been here, haven’t we?

          • OneReally

            I heard it was marked as an unexcused absence.

        • Evan Zafar

          The teachers were made aware.

        • Reston Native

          No, I’m saying that not attending class does not directly impact your grades. You can’t fail out for being absent (I remember this being a big deal a few years ago when they changed the policy). Granted continued absences likely would lead to missing tests/quizzes/projects that would lead to failing.

        • Sean Kelloff

          Well unfortunately the children who were killed in the mass shooting will be absent for the rest of their non existent lives. You clearly have never been shot at or had someone close to you mowed down by an automatic weapon that the person had no right in owning. This is just ignorance on your part.

    • Greg

      I see, and agree with, your point, but they apparently acted respectfully and, quite likely, out of fear for their lives.

    • RestonAssurance

      That logic states to mark absent those 17 murdered in Florida. Learning and speaking out aren’t confined to a classroom.

  • Reston2244

    Kudos to the schools for allowing it and encouraging students to find and express their voices in a peaceful manner. School should be this – not *just* learning from books and prescribed curricula but also learning about issues in the world, how to explore those issues, and how to enact changes when needed.

    • OneReally

      What “changes” were being advocated for?
      I just see a bunch of kids allowed to rule the school.

      • Lorton mom

        It was a moment to remember what happened. A moment for the community, so that we never forget what has happened. Do you think these children feel safe going to school? They have a right, and as long as it’s peaceful, which can be seen that it was, it is a powerful thing they are doing.

        • OneReally

          My son and daughter feel safe, yes. Thanks for asking.

        • Greg

          What “right” do they have?

  • Scott

    The blind leading the blind. Or rather, the “do something” crowd leading the naive.

    • Willie Reston

      The children leading the “adults” who run this country.

      • Scott

        Not so much. It’s a culture problem not a gun presence problem. Telling kids fallacies that are contrary to all available evidence is not helpful to achieving the goal of reducing mass shooting events.

        • Cassandra

          Culture problem? What the hell does that mean? It is so broad as to mean nothing. Arming a culture with military grade weapons? Maybe that’s a little more specific. Evidence? 17 dead. This week.

          • Greg

            That, Cassandra, would be a 2A issue. Change or repeal 2A.

          • Scott

            What the hell is a military style weapon Cassandra? Talk about broad. With all due respect, you understand so little about what you talk about. The 2nd Amendment has existed for 240 years. We’ve only had a mass shooting problem for a couple decades. What changed? It’s not the existence of firearms. The The answer is culture. Banning or restricting Firearms will not change that culture and will not change people who wish to commit Mass atrocities. They will find a way as long as the culture remains as it is. The only answer is guns in the hands of good guys and the elimination of soft targets such as a schools, movie theaters and other “gun free zones” that guarantee a perpetrator will be able to enact as much damage as possible with no resistance. Wise up.

          • PsyOpsBattleToad

            I’ll jump in. 250 years ago, to fire 3 shots took over one minute. Today, an AR-15 (Which stood for Armalite Rifle, not Assault Rifle as is commonly thought), equipped with a Bump Stock, is capable of firing 800 rounds a minute. We’ll call it 600 realistically, accounting for reload time, as a Beta Mag has a 100 round capacity.
            Do you see the difference here? These types of firearms were beyond the pale in the days of the founding fathers. I have no reason to own such a weapon.
            Hunting?
            What’re you hunting with that setup, Terminators?
            Home defense?
            Who do you think is coming for you with that much firepower? “To FIGHT when we need to take back the country from the Government!”
            Two words: Drone. Strike.

            I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to own guns. I own a handgun and shotgun, kept in a safe, that I know the combo to. Something good for personal defense, and recreational target shooting at the range. I have no reason to own hardware that is the equivalent of military and law enforcement team hardware.

            This issue isn’t simple that we can cut down into soundbites of “It’s the culture that’s wrong!” “Guns are all bad!” “Damn liberals!” “Ignorant conservatives!” It’s a complex issue of cultural problems, a stigma of proper mental health and care, the the fame, or more appropriately infamy, and spotlight given to the shooters by the media, and yes, access to excessive and high powered weaponry. There is much to do to fix this issue, but it’s time to recognize that weapons like this are a big part of the problem. Let’s stop making this an US vs. THEM argument, stop dividing ourselves, and start working together to change these issues, and keeping kids alive.

          • Greg

            250 years ago, communicating took ink, parchment, quills, intricate penmanship, and men riding horses over the unpaved terrain. Should we abandon 1A because we can now disseminate freely, instantly, and globally using phones, the interwebs, tweets, radio and TV? 800 or more times a minute?

            “Do you see the difference here?”

          • Matt Kelly

            Oh, right, because high-speed communications technology has the same effect as an AR-15 equipped with a bumpstock? I’m sure we’re going to see a protest any day now for banning the Internet because it’s killed so many people.

          • Mike M

            Cars have killed more people. So , . . .? Alcohol has killed more people, so . . . prohibition.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            False equivalence. You can probably get by without your weapon than you weapon without your automobile. Im betting that you do more with your car everyday tyann you do with your weapon.

            Actually, “Prohibition” was enacted as an amendment and then repealed as an amendment. So, legally, your right to booze is on equal footing with your right to weapon. I guarantee you that we have lots more laws and agencies dedicated to protecting students booze than we do for guns.

          • Mike M

            Absolutely not false equivalence. Prohibition was not in the original Bill of Rights. It was a silly law. Silly too would be the repeal of something in the Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers were too wise for our time.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            In the eyes of the law, all amendments carry the same weight. The 200th amendment would carry the same weight as the very first amendment unless one of those following amendments repealed it. If the order of amendments is the precedence, then Prohibition couldn’t have been repealed by the later amendment.

          • Mike M

            There is the Bill of Rights – the foundational, then there is the rest. Only the legally and historically numb would say they are all the same. So Prohibition and Freedom of Speech. Same?

          • Chuck Morningwood

            You are making distinctions that legally don’t matter. The whole bit about history is irrelevant, as it carries no weight in the law. I doubt you’ll ever be able to find a precedent stating that X amendment is more important than Y amendment because it was added to the Constitution earlier.

          • Mike M

            Actually your whole premise was irrelevant. The Second Amendment stands. It stood from the beginning. It’s foundational. Prohibition came and went.

          • Willie Reston

            Yup, there it is — the laziest, most last-resort argument of a shameless righty who knows he’s wrong. “B-b-but, cars can kill people too! A-a-and AIRPLANES! Those kill people too, right?” Pathetic.

          • Mike M

            You have no logical retort? My statements are factual. The situations are analogous. Things that result in deaths when abused. Step up for once, Willie?

          • TheKingJAK

            The power of writing and speech has killed hundreds of millions of people, lest you believe that nazism, communism, jihadism, and every other ism responsible for genocidal mass murder was created by an inanimate AR-15. Please, do yourself a favor and stay in school (Or go back to it).

          • Greg

            Right over your head…#doomed.

          • Mike M

            We won’t because lefties are excited by guns. They fear them. Mind you, there is a growing movement to get Internet providers and services to ban certain content.

          • Greg
          • Matt Kelly

            Nope. Not happening at all. What I said was about banning high-speed communications period, full stop. At least, that is what I meant. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.

          • Scott

            Agree with a lot of what you say, but blaming inanimate objects is lazy.
            You may claim you don’t need a certain type of gun, but who are you to tell someone what they need. Hand guns commit many more crimes than the mythical “assault rifle” so maybe you don’t really “need” that handgun in your safe.
            And you can poo poo the tyrannical govt angle by throwing out tanks and drones but that assumes you have total cooperation of the military which is unlikely. Semi-automatic weapons such as a .223 caliber provide a fighting chance in small arms scenarios that a pistol and shotgun do not. There would be a lot fewer than 400k dead syrians if they were allowed to have AR-15 to fight their tyrannical govt. Think it can’t happen here? Wilson commissioned group of brown shirts to tamp down dissent during WW1 and FDR rounded up and imprisoned an entire segment of society because of their nationality. Tyranny could happen here again.
            Somehow the same people who say we can’t judge all illegal immigrants bc a few are violent criminals and we can’t crack down on welfare fraud bc it’s a small percentage and will hurt the needy, have no problem blaming all firearm owners bc an infintessimal percentage are used in any crime, even though there is no evidence taking guns away would have any impact on the problem they think they are solving. Gun control is based in emotion, not logic or evidence.

          • Willie Reston

            You (and your “don’t tread on me” cohort) keep saying “there’s no evidence suggesting taking guns away would help solve the problem” when, in fact, there are MOUNTAINS of evidence which support the exact opposite. Go look up gun homicide and mass murder statistics for all developed countries; the US is perpetually magnitudes higher than other countries even adjusting for our larger population. Australia basically banned guns 25 years ago (admittedly an extreme measure which won’t fly in the US) and hasn’t had a mass shooting since. These other countries by and large consume all of the same movies, video games, and pop culture we do, so what do you suggest is the reason for such deplorable statistics for the US if not the insane number of guns, type of guns allowed, and ease with which they can be obtained? What, in your mind, is the reason why we have so much gun violence?

          • Mike M

            Forty years ago more people owned guns in the US. There were no school shootings.

          • Willie Reston

            Good job Mike, talking about the ancient past when we’re here talking about 2018, but I’ll bite anyway. What’s changed in the rest of the developed world vs. the US in that timeframe? Stricter gun laws, plain and simple. That’s why we have a disproportionately high rate of gun violence and mass murders versus our peers.

          • Mike M

            You missed the point. I am not surprised. We are talking about the US as a constant. The variable is school shootings. The question is why. Your IQ keeps getting in the way.

          • Scott

            You are wrong Willie. Australia had no noticeable decline in gun violence after their gun control laws. In fact, evidence suggests gun violence has increased, as now, only criminals have guns and no law-abiding citizen can match the threat. Their culture is different and all they succeeding in doing was maling themselves less safe.

          • Mike M

            Recall the Vatican outlawed crossbows. They failed too.

            Your reason to own one of these is to defend yourself against those who have them. Those including the government.

          • RestonAssurance

            Should you ever need to square off with the government gone rogue, the government can still one-up us with their tanks and stealth fighters. That’s just the way that it is when we have one of the finest and strongest militaries.

          • Mike M

            I think I know a little of our military. Don’t assume it would be uniformly on the side of the left that belittles and underfunds them to support handouts. Do a little research on civil wars and see what I mean. By the way, you might also be amazed at the revolutions that have succeeded against “superior” military force. When it comes to a topic such as this one. You should ask and not tell.

          • Tom

            Can you be more specific by what you mean by “culture” because I’d really like to know. If what you mean by culture is violence in movies, TV and videogames, this media (most of it exported by Hollywood) is available worldwide and yet the mass shootings only seem to happen in the U.S. Why is that?

          • 30yearsinreston

            Unlimited access to military grade assault weapons is what changed

          • Scott

            I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single word of post is incorrect.
            Unlimited – wrong. There are heavy restrictions.
            Military grade – what does this mean? AR-15s are not used by the military.
            Assault weapon – this is a made up term that literally no one can define.
            AR-15s have been available for purchase since 1964. Are you saying that mass shooting have been a national crisis since the mid 60s?

          • 40yearsinreston

            “Heavy Restrictions” : Please name one.

            Military grade : conforms to a DOD standard

            Assault weapon :

            Dictionary.com defines “assault weapon” as “any of various automatic and semiautomatic military
            firearms utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge, designed for
            individual use.” Merriam-Webster’s online definition is “any of various automatic or semiautomatic firearms; especially: assault rifle.”

            The AR-15 and its variants qualify in both respects
            Do some research before mindlessly parroting LePew and his cohorts

            They don’t care about your welfare, just their $$$

          • Mike M

            Define “assault weapon?” Can’t. “Military grade” means . . . machine guns? M-4s? M-60s, M-249s? What exactly are you talking about? Do you even know?

          • 40yearsinreston

            Dictionary.com defines “assault weapon” as “any of various automatic and semiautomatic military
            firearms utilizing an intermediate-power cartridge, designed for
            individual use.” Merriam-Webster’s online definition is “any of various
            automatic or semiautomatic firearms; especially: assault rifle.”

          • Mike M

            Yeah. They are over the place. So, is a semiautomatic pistol and assault weapon? By the way, an AR-15 is not military. It’s hard, isn’t it? I mean when you have a clue.

          • Mike M

            Arming a people with the means to punish their government if it gets off track is built into the country’s foundation. Sorry! Allowing people the right to self-defense in emergencies is a no-brainer. Did you know in 2001 a kid killed 17 in a school in Germany where there are much tougher gun laws? Can you tell me what stricter laws would have prevented this or any of the others?

          • Chuck Morningwood

            You cannot seriously be saying that Germany has the same level of gun violence in their schools as we do in the US.

          • Mike M

            No. Scroll up. Never said that. I am saying people are not yet articulating what laws would have prevented the recent shootings other than repeal of the Second Amendment. I’m not sure even that would work. I am sure it would be the end of the Republic of which have are already witnessing the beginning.

        • RestonAssurance

          It’s a gun problem. The wrong guns in the wrong hands obtained legally problem.

          • Greg

            Is that what we say when an (un)insured motorist kills someone? Is it a car problem? The wrong car in the wrong hands obtained legally?

            Or when a pressure cooker kills someone?

            Or anthrax?

            Or airplanes?

            Or Metro?

            Even if you opine it is, what will we do about the 300 million guns already in circulation?

          • Scott

            I have an idea. They should ban the average person owning anthrax.

          • Carly Baker

            We are not talking about anthrax and car accidents. We are talking about gun control. Get it together, Greg.

          • Greg

            You are right. We are not talking. Have a nice life.

            PS — your Fairfax County education is showing…

          • Carly Baker

            Where are you from sad, pathetic, ignorant one? I thought this discussion was not about hate. Your past comments showed me how much of a small minded, and apparently white trash person you are. When was the last time we had problems with Anthrax? Haha. Sorry Greg, your opinion is moot.

          • Greg

            And who’s the hater here. For shame!

          • Tysg

            it takes training and license to legally drive a car. No such training and license are in force to obtain an AR-15. There are powerful cars that are not street legal. If ANY car was legal for road use you may multiply the death rate to astromical numbers. There are also rules to driving….like stop signs, and speeding limits. To employ a set of rules to make it harder to legally obtain higher levels of firepower only makes common sense.

          • Greg

            We are not worried about those who legally obtain and operate arms or cars or anything else. They will wisely insure themselves against the risks they assume.

            We are worried about those who illegally obtain and operate things. What “common sense” sets of rules (or laws or regulations or anything else) do you propose to employ in addressing our worry?

          • Scott

            Despite this, only .00001% of rifles are used in any crime, let alone mass shootings and despite all the licensing and training you believe is necessary to drive a car, it didn’t stop that woman from mowing down a bunch of people in Vegas walking on the strip.

            And FTR, there are rules – a background check is required, age restrictions, etc. There are also a set of rules that dictate how and where a gun must be used.

          • RestonAssurance

            Lame, Greg. Not just mass shootings. We can all agree toddlers and children aren’t playing with any of those irrelevant items on your list short of freak car accidents, and then killing themselves or their siblings.

          • Greg

            You missed it too…sad.

          • Scott

            Every time we have one of these incidents, it is always stated that all the crazy gun-control legislation would not have prevented the event. The Boston Marathon was a pressure cooker bomb not a gun. Crazy people will find a way. The tool is irrelevant.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            I`m pfery sure it was harder for Tsarnaev to acquire that pressure cooker bomb than it was for Cruz to acquire his AR 15 and ammo. If the bomb components had been as easy to acquire, there might have been more of them deployed by the Tsarnaev brothers.

          • Scott

            If you’re gonna say ridiculous things like it’s harder to buy a pressure cooker than a semi-automatic rifles, then we have nowhere to go in a conversation.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            It’s not the pressure cooker that wouldd be the difficult part. It’s all of the other bomb components, not to mention the finally assembly and testing.

          • Greg

            Final assembly and testing? They don’t work for NASA, and we all know how well NASA’s final assembly and testing worked.

            As to parts: “The bombs were constructed using fuses made from Christmas lights and remote-control detonators fashioned from model car parts, nails, BBs, AA batteries, and fireworks containing black powder.”

          • Chuck Morningwood

            So you think acquiring all of that, assembling it and then delivering would require less effort than purchasing an AR 15, a box of ammo and some magazines?

          • Greg

            Yes.

          • Reston Realist

            Exactly!

          • Mike M

            Did you say wrong hands?

          • OneReally

            A gun at rest will stay at rest until there is an action. Guns don’t kill. Crazy people with guns kill.

            Will you change who can get a knife, hammer, or crossbar next?

          • RestonAssurance

            Right over your head. A knife, a hammer, and a crossbar (crossbow?) can’t murder children with the same capacity as guns can, but especially the famed AR-15. Don’t digress from the discourse with irrelevant points.

          • OneReally

            Right I don’t agree with you so I have “irrelevant points”

            Typical!

            Your not concerned with murder. Just the rate.

          • Greg

            Surely you’ve heard of Lizzie Borden.

            FBI says: 8378 have been murdered with cutting devices from 2009 – 2013.

          • RestonAssurance

            Indeed.
            Same FBI UCR says 44,077 have been murdered by firearms from 2009-2013. Stark contrast, eh.

          • Greg

            Misleading. That number of deaths includes self-inflicted firearm suicides of about 33,000. 475 of the 44,077 were homicides from mass shooting events.

        • Mike

          Scott is absolutely correct. All I can say is that thank God my son goes to a good school, which isn’t South Lakes. Reston is a dump thanks to the liberals.

          • Carly Baker

            Where does your child go? Hmmm…let me guess they are either homeschooled by ignorant people like yourself or by the NRA. Reston is a great place and sorry you weren’t exposed to a folks like that in your life.

          • Carly Baker

            Mike, you are the type of trashy people we need to get rid of in this country. I live in WV now, but grew up in Reston. I feel blessed to have grown up with people that stand up for what they believe in than hide behind a law from 1790.

          • Greg

            It’s an amendment…not a law.

          • Matt Kelly
          • TheKingJAK

            When you say a right is not absolute, the truth is that it only ceases to be so when you bring about unjustified harm to others. Possessing a firearm doesn’t harm anyone, nor does the ability to freely communicate. The adage of yelling fire in a crowded theater is akin to threatening someone with said firearm by brandishing it in a directly threatening manner without just cause. Use some common sense, and realize that if a person is not actually harming someone without just cause then they are well within their rights.

          • Greg

            Please stop screaming.

            And, yes, just like your citation cleary notes, 2A and the rest of the US Constitution is absolute until and unless the US Supreme Court rules otherwise.

          • Matt Kelly

            No, in fact, not even the 1st Amendment is absolute, as we are not legally free to scream “fire” in a crowded theater or incite people to commit violence or destruction.

          • Greg

            No, Matt. The only reason one cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theatre is because the Supremes ruled so (Schenck v. United States).

          • Mike M

            SO, was there an expiration date on the Bill of Rights? Freedom of speech has seemed a bit outdated by certain righteous ones in places like Berkely, CA.

            WV? Go mouth off at your new neighbors.

          • Mike

            Carly, the type of people we need to get rid of are the ones that call other people “trash” or “racist” just because they don’t share the same belief as the you. It just strengthens my argument that liberals have made Reston into a dump. Thank goodness you didn’t live in Great Falls or you would have made that into a dump. I feel sorry for WV, they need more respectful people, not people like you.

          • Greg

            Remember– hate has no home here — HHNHH.

          • Carly Baker

            Then stop promoting hate here. You are entitled to your own opinion and I’m entitled to do the same.

          • Greg

            There are no words…other than HHNHH.

          • Carly Baker

            Sorry Reston Now, I despise folks who are rude and disrespectful towards a place they are not from. #RestonRules

          • OneReally

            Reston was that great sooooooooo you moved to WVA?

          • Greg

            HHNHH — but the despisers gonna despise (news flash — despise is a synonym for hate) no matter where they are from or live now.

          • Mike M

            He is not promoting hate. He is defending the 2A and you don’t like it.

          • OneReally

            When you don’t agree with people like Carly your rude and full of hate.

          • OneReally

            Just remember when they make statements like that it’s just expression.

            If we try to point out other views then its ignorant.

          • Mike

            Live in Great Falls and son goes to Langley. I didn’t see any kids there trying to “protest”. Also, you liberals always promote tolerance, but if anyone goes against what you say, they are considered racist or trash. Greg hasn’t said anything disrespectful to you, but you can seem to stop insulting him. Great example why liberals are destroying Reston. Glad you don’t live in the area any longer.

    • 40yearsinreston

      another NRA troll

  • Evan Zafar

    Hey that me

  • Sarah

    This is utterly insane that people don’t understand, we just want to feel safe in a place we spend 8 hours in everyday. Sorry that we were willing to grow a pair and actually use our voices to express a change we want to happen. If you hate us for it, so be it I don’t honestly care about your opinon. Have fun being an typical internet troll. What happened last week is not okay, if we can make any kind of change, even just spreading the word then that is worth it. If nobody does anything no change is gonna happen. Just a fact.
    Sincerely,
    A South Lakes Student

    • Greg

      While your goals may be noble, your rhetoric needs work. Among others, please don’t malign the insane; defame the ignorant; use tired, offensive idiomatic metaphors;dismiss your dissenters; and bypass the US Constitution.

      Learn the power of the pen (or keyboard as it were) and take great advantage of your free Fairfax County education.

      • Sarah

        I believe we have to right to feel safe, and express our opinon as is in the constitution which you use as your crutch. We were also giving a moment of silence to the VICTIMS who died last week. 17 lives lost because of one person. If it were up to me we as a country or a county at least would find.a way to help deny access to the school for people who may have the intention of causing harm. Do I have specifics, no, I am 17 I can’t even vote yet. While others sit behind a keyboard and scrutinze. I am just trying to fight for what is right. This is a high school so take a chill pill.

        • populer208

          “I believe we have to (sic) right to feel safe” … And that’s why children shouldn’t vote. We cannot legislate on feels.

          • Sean Kelloff

            So your saying we shouldn’t have fought terrorism, who’s whole campaign was “fight the war on terror”? So if you feel scared of someone bombing your city then the government shouldn’t legislate to protect you? Good luck with your logic guy.

          • 30yearsinreston

            legislate for $$$$$$$

        • Argument voided

          Even tho I have a different opinion I can accept everuthing you say except the last sentence.

        • Greg

          Your ignorance is stifling. Your arrogance is disgusting.

          • Guest

            The same might be said about you, Greg. Look in the mirror sometimes.

          • Greg

            Might isn’t. Regardless, there is no shame in defending the US Constitution and calling out those who should know better.

        • Conservative Senior

          Sarah, it would also be helpful if students were kind to each other, stop berating & criticizing some less popular students, bullying some. If you don’t like someone just ignore them or try putting yourself in their shoes. What happened was an awful tragedy. I’m not making excuses for the shooter but you need to ask why he did it. Think about it…….have you been unkind to a fellow student?

    • Mike M

      And what would you do?

    • TheKingJAK

      50 people were wounded in Chicago in one weekend alone, yet not a peep was to be heard from you nor anybody else. Honestly, most of you don’t even realize how fortunate you are right now, and before you attended South Lakes we actually had gangsters running up in there with machetes and knives (Among other situations). Seriously, you have no idea how much better you have it right now, especially with overall murder rates in this nation having plummeted since the 90s (When I was in D.C. as a kid we had on average more people murdered every week or so than what occurred in Florida, while NYC had more people murdered every two or three days). You’re just allowing the 24/7 news bombardment to dictate emotions to you, and much of it is unwarranted. The best thing you can do is simply be a decent person, treat people with respect, and stand up for others who are being bullied or mistreated. Do that, and you can actually have a positive impact on this world. Just don’t allow the talking heads on the news and activists with ulterior motives to use you as part of their agendas.

      • Willie Reston

        TL;DR for your comment:

        “Teenagers keep shooting up schools with AR-15’s, but move along folks, there’s no problem and nothing to see here. Even if there is a problem there’s simply nothing we can do about it ¯_(ツ)_/¯”

        • OneReally

          Ok. Take all of the AR and AKs would you feel safer?

          Crazy will do crazy.

          • Willie Reston

            Yes.

    • Scott

      Very sorry Sarah, but what would make you feel safe?
      1. There is no way to get rid of all guns.
      2. There are numerous tools that are easy to build or access that can do as much damage as a gun. A car running through a parking lot at dismissal could be a lot more devastating than 17.
      The truth is, there will always be bad people. You can not legislate that away. The only answer is to make schools less appealing as a target and the only way to do that is get rid of ridiculous “gun-free” zones. We employ armed guards to protect money at banks, but think it’s crazy to employ guns to protect our children? How crazy is that. Pretty much every mass shooting in the US has taken place in a gun-free zone. This is not a coincidence.
      Trying to legislate gun control will be as successful as prohibition was for alcohol or passing a law to prevent teenagers from texting while driving.

      Now, go back to class, and if you want to feel safe, demand that the school board and administration value your safety as much as banks value dollar bills.

      • Reston2244

        Chiming in here (I have an exchange with Greg above) only to say, again, that in Reston (and I am assuming the entire county), middle and high schools do have police officers who do have guns stationed at their school. There is only one, which likely isn’t enough, but this notion of a gun-free zone doesn’t exist here. Having police officers or other highly qualified armed guards also doesn’t cancel out the need for stricter laws or more regulations.

        • Greg

          Yes, all schools in the Commonwealth are gun free.

          See Code of Virginia § 18.2-308.1 which sets forth a class 6 felony.

          Once again, your government not protecting you.

          • Reston2244

            Greg, you are mistaken. There are exceptions and the police officer guarding each of those school is the exception. I assure you, they carry guns. I know them here personally – they are extremely kind and take their job of protecting the students very seriously.

          • Greg

            I am not mistaken — the law is the law. Read it yourself if you don’t agree.

            Police officers are authorized to carry guns everywhere they are on duty, including in any school.

          • Reston2244

            I’m not sure why the “gun-free zone” then is a problem is the school still has officers with guns to protect it? The gun-free zone rule is for students and unauthorized adults. See my comments earlier on why I think it would be such a problem to have any or all students or teachers carry.

          • Greg

            For one, it’s an advertising beacon to anyone who wants to slaughter kids. No guns here, says the bad guy on seeing the sign, so this is a great place for me to go shoot people. See the problem?

            The statute, not rule, and hard to read as they are in VA, clearly covers everyone. Police officers are exempt.

            One cop with one gun with maybe 16 rounds of ammo in a vast sprawling school with 2500 kids and 300 staff and 100 visitors, none of whom may be armed, at any given time. Is that the answer?

            And let’s not forget that our own police chief is out there saying we are imagining crime (more of that government that’s supposed to protect us):

            https://www.restonnow.com/2017/09/14/police-captain-apparent-increase-in-reston-crime-more-perception-than-reality/

            I am not sure that having armed students, teachers, custodians or anyone else is a good thing, but it’s quite unlawful (until such time as someone takes it to the Supreme Court where it would likely be deemed unconstitutional) in VA.

        • OneReally

          Florida school grounds are gun free as well. Laws do not apply to those to wish ill will against his neighbor.

      • OneReally

        Amen! Well said! We need to accept this is happening in the USA. Has been for a long time. Now how do we protect them like Airports, Federal Datacenters, Banks.

        • Greg

          We start by abolishing the gun-free zone nonsense.

          • OneReally

            Agreed! It only stops the law abiding citizens.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Fallacious logic

  • Mike M

    Wah! Wah! Waaaah!
    Good job lil LibTs! Feel better?

    • 40yearsinreston

      ‘NRA Leader Warns Conservatives Of ‘Socialist Wave’ In Wake Of Shooting”
      “”And you should be anxious, and you should be frightened.”

      https://www.npr.org/2018/02/22/587911457/nra-leader-warns-conservatives-of-socialist-wave-in-wake-of-shooting

      The commies are coming – buy more guns
      La Pew never wastes an opportunity to sell more guns

      • Mike M

        The left never wastes an opportunity to act out zombie like on Second Amendment infringement.

        • 40yearsinreston

          Infringement my arse

          • Mike M

            Those are other people. Not me.

          • OneReally

            Sad that other people need to post posing as you. They have no (0)s.

          • Mike M

            It is one of the most pathetic things I have seen in here. But it’s fakery and when the facts don’t fit your philosophy, you fake them.

          • 40yearsinreston

            Just li LaPew does

  • Jennifer Coughlin
  • Seymour Butts

    The FL shooter pulled the fire alarm to evacuate the school and get people out into the open. Now we have a “National School Walkout Day” on March 14. What an opportunistic time for a person to shoot up a school. Ironic huh? Think I’ll give my kid a free pass on March 14. We will play hooky from school and work and spend the day together as a family.

    • Conservative Senior

      The shooter did not pull the fire alarm.

  • Greg

    They are advocating for more “laws” from the same government that has failed them time and time again? Every level of government from the FBI to the case workers and substitute parents overseeing this animal failed, miserably, multiple times.

    They saw something,they said something and the government failed us all.

    • Reston2244

      The enforcement of those laws logically follows suit. I don’t think anyone ever asks for laws just for the sake of having them. Yes, the government failed them on many levels – not just with gun legislation but also the FBI, case workers, etc. who haven’t yet been willing to engage in discussion with any of the FL survivors. This is exactly why we need our youth to speak out, speak up, and be heard – so that they hold the government and adults with power accountable.

      • Greg

        More laws, enforced or not, are not the issue. We have many laws against illegal immigrants, but many don’t want them enforced. Why don’t the kids (or adults) effectively advocate for changing those laws? Is it that hard to do? Apparently so, as congress has had decades, and has been under pressure for the past six months to do so and it, too, has failed. Miserably.

        POTUS has the power of the pen and his phone, but he’s an administrator, not a legislator. He proposed a common-sense solution within his authority: mitigating the absurd government-created idea of soft targets like schools–gun-free schools. The majority seem to disfavor that common-sense plan despite the slaughter that continues at soft target, gun-free schools.

        But I digress. We can have tens, hundreds, thousands of laws. New laws. Old laws. It doesn’t much matter. Most of us follow most of them most of the time. It’s those who don’t follow the laws one time that cause the problems and continue slaughtering the innocent.

        • Reston2244

          Using that logic then, we would have no laws. Laws and debate about illegal immigrants are off-topic from this discussion, so I won’t get into that. However, students from all viewpoints advocate for many things, not just this.

          Here in Reston, we DO have police officers stationed at the school who DO have guns. Having everyone with a gun at school certainly isn’t the answer – maybe a few more police stationed there would help. If we allowed all the students and teachers to carry guns, then we have a school full of fear and constant worry about who may be careless with their gun or who may use it in the heat of the moment. I don’t want my kids going to a school where anyone but a police officer or military personnel has a gun.

          BUT, that doesn’t mean we should just throw our hands up and say “well, laws don’t work”. They don’t guarantee anything (even a roomful of armed soldiers don’t guarantee your safety), but they do help over time. Otherwise, we just live in anarchy. That may be appealing to some, but most people would prefer to live in a society where we have laws and at least try our best to enforce them.

          • Greg

            You missed the point. Whether laws do or don’t work isn’t the issue — and only you are stating that we should give them all up or that they won’t work or that we should live in anarchy.

            I do think the example of illegal immigrants is relevant, as are Scott’s examples of them and welfare fraud. There are laws, rules, and regulations about all of it, but some don’t follow the rules. Regardless, there are 300 million guns, millions more vehicles, pressure cookers, poisons, axes, saws, hammers and many other things in free circulation that can kill. The things are not the point — people are the point.

            In any case, what is the solution? What is your solution?

          • Reston2244

            Where did I advocate to give up all laws or that they won’t work? I was saying that to show what seemed to be illogical statements in your argument. The solution is to not just “not make laws”. We inspect cars for a reason, for example, to ensure the safety of them. We don’t allow people to drive tractor trailers without extensive training and licensing. We don’t allow many poisons in the general market. We don’t even allow prescription medicines without a doctor’s approval. Why, then, are you willing to allow anyone to purchase any kind of firearm? No one (at least not most people who aren’t very far left) is saying “take all their guns!”, “make them all helpless!” as the far right likes to claim. People are saying, this is a dangerous weapon just as a car is, just as poison is, etc. and we should look at what we can do to regulate it much better. And part of the problem is that these far right and far left parties can’t discuss it without resorting to broad, sweeping, general statements, derailing the conversation, or personal attacks. And I’m sorry, but now focusing on illegal immigration IS derailing the argument. Those laws should be enforced just like any others and they should be forced to follow our laws. But, we are talking about guns here, not immigration.

          • Greg

            Actually, this article is about kids leaving school to remember those 17 killed in Florida. So, in that case, we are both off topic.

            The argument about allowing purchases of arms is a 2A matter. There’s nothing in 2A about licenses, “bump fire stocks,” age limits or otherwise.

            Until the Supreme Court decides otherwise, or Congress proposes and the 3/4 of the states ratify amending or abolishing 2A, we are free to purchase them. POTUS has nothing to do with the process and it’s quite arguable that any of his executive orders thereto are unconstitutional.

            All that being so, all those things I noted above are still out there, and I’ve seen nothing from anyone addressing them other than asking for more from government that’s already demonstrated failure.

          • Reston2244

            Well, I started by talking about the kids leaving school and then we started talking about why they left 😉

            “Free to purchase them” doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be limits on those freedoms. I don’t propose to know the legislative process well enough to know exactly how to accomplish this to the letter of the law, but whatever it takes, then that is what I would advocate for.

            Government may have demonstrated failure but the government is made up of regular people who we vote for. If they are failing, then it’s our job to change them and hold them accountable. Hence, the student protests and why I say kudos to them and the schools for allowing them to have a voice.

          • Evidently

            “Shall not be infringed” sot of says that clearly.

          • OneReally

            “Here in Reston, we DO have police officers stationed at the school who DO have guns.”

            What do they have again? Gun you say. Yes cause a good guy with a gun is good of the one defensive against a bad guy with one.

          • Reston2244

            This is the problem with the extremes on both sides of this debate. You assume because I agree with having stricter laws and more regulations, I think all guns are bad. This is the nuance I was referring to earlier that many highly partisan adults don’t seem to have.

          • OneReally

            I’m not partisan or trying to be. I don’t belong to a party actually. 🙂

            You have mentioned having stricter laws and more regulations.

            What are the specifics? More laws on the books to say yes we feel better now.

            Side note:
            I am firm believer in the 2nd amendment. Been around guns since I can remember. I don’t believe banning the guns or
            the assault weapons are the answer.

            The gun can’t shot what isn’t there.
            I think the AR, AK, SKS are beautiful guns, but there should be a round limit to what they can hold.

          • Reston2244

            I agree with you that there should be a round limit, which gives someone time to take a shooter down without endangering themselves. I also believe bump stocks should be banned to the public, and the legal age to buy a gun should be raised to 21 unless you serve. I also am very opposed to teachers carrying but I do think military or police officer guards are a good idea. And I believe that there should be background checks for all buyers plus a safety tests, gun restraining orders, and of course, law enforcement needs to strictly investigate any concerns raised to them. I don’t know if all my viewpoints are the best, but based on my own current knowledge these are my beliefs. The bottom line is that we need to protect innocent people and if we all agree that is the goal, then everything else should be up for discussion.

      • Greg

        And let’s not forget that the very same government has failed us multiple times — Timothy McVeigh, 9-11, the Tsarnaev brothers. All known threats.

  • OneReally

    “Second, the changes these students are advocating for are laws which
    will help schools and other mass gatherings be more safe. I don’t know
    that every student agrees with the same exact ways to implement those
    laws, but drawing attention to it, having changes take place (because
    clearly the norm isn’t working right now), and addressing the gun debate
    head on with logic and respect for each other is what is needed.”

    Don’t do it during school time!

    Put some skin in it. Organize a march after school. Miss your favorite TV show or sport practice.
    March before school.

    “I’ve raised two teenagers, who are straight A students with not one
    behavioral issue (ever) not by ruling with an iron fist but by treating
    them with the respect that I also demand”
    OK? You mean others on here don’t have straight A students (shocker)? Personally, growing up in a military environment and serving in the military I learned it was better to gain trust and respect. I feel that’s what I have with all three of my kids.

    • Reston2244

      They are doing it outside of school as well, it’s certainly not just in school. But, are you suggesting that school isn’t a place to learn to protest or speak your voice? These same kids are writing essays, doing presentations, conducting research, etc. on topics such as this all time. Isn’t learning also figuring out how to apply it to real life and how to actually implement all you’ve learned? Isn’t this why we have field trips and bring in outside speakers and require service hours?

      Of course I’m not suggesting that others don’t have straight A students. That’s a crude, broad assumption to make. I’m saying I didn’t raise two upstanding men by forcing them to obey without input. And I demand respect because I am a human being who is entitled to it unless I prove otherwise (and, hopefully, I haven’t). Just as my kids and every other person who gives respect to others should.

      • OneReally

        “And I demand respect because I am a human being who is entitled to it unless I prove otherwise”

        Your entitled to nothing. Most people don’t demand respect they earn it.

        • Reston2244

          You take what I say in a different context than I meant. I certainly don’t go around saying “I demand respect”, but if you are disrespectful to me and I have done nothing wrong to you, I’m certainly not going to just accept it, not call you on it, and then try to somehow earn it. You’ve done the same right here in this comments section. I don’t know anyone who thinks they need to take time to “earn” every single person’s respect they meet before being treated in a respectful manner if they are a respectful person.

          • OneReally

            Check your comment above again. Curious how I took your comment out of context?

          • Reston2244

            I simply mean that you seem to have taken my comment to indicate that I’m some entitled snob. I think all humans are entitled to some things – respect, safety, life. We shouldn’t have to earn those things, but we can “unearn” them. It’s simply a different way of looking at things. Not a reason to try to discredit each other.

  • Martine

    Well done, SLHS students! You have the power of the internet and you know how to use it better than anyone. Go for it! What do we have to lose? Since adults have been unable to protect their own kids, take matters into your own hands. You have every right to do so. I wish you well and will be happy to help in any way I can. This madness has to end. As far as I’m concerned, you’re our best hope at this point.

  • Penny

    Bravo!

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