Pasadena Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide Walkouts

Polytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide WalkoutsPolytechnic and Sequoyah Schools Hold Silent Demonstrations and Gun Violence Workshops During Nationwide Walkouts

By BRANDON VILLALOVOS | | Sequoyah School photos by student photographers T Antonakis Kane and Itzel Estrada-Galicia

7:51 pm | March 14, 2018


Students from Pasadena schools took part in National School Walkouts on Wednesday one month to the day after the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida in which 17 were killed. The walkouts protested congressional inaction on gun control and advocated for banning assault weapons, requiring universal background checks for gun sales, and passage of a restraining order law that would allow courts to take guns from individuals who demonstrate warning signs of violent behavior.

Students, teachers and allies at a number of Pasadena schools, including Blair High School, Marshall Fundamental, McKinley School, Aveson Charter and others, walked out for demonstrations.

Pasadena’s Sequoyah and Polytechnic schools participated in their own way with silent demonstrations and workshops in dealing with the alarming topic of gun violence.

The private school anti-gun-violence demonstrations came just days after Pasadena Unified School District campuses saw orchestrated events district-wide where parents, faculty, and students also peacefully gathered in displays of solidarity.

“This should be happening in all schools when something terrible like this happens. We want to be able to share our opinions, to share our thoughts and actually do something,” said Sequoyah High School student Eddie Gonzalez.

High school students from the Sequoyah School campus Ad Hoc Student Affairs Committee peacefully organized a day of remembrance for those who were killed in the Parkland shooting the exact month prior beginning at 10 a.m. with a 17-minute meditation in honor of the number of individuals who lost their lives that day.

Students read aloud the names and biographies of the 17 victims and many shared personal stories in an effort to connect deeply with the Sequoyah School student body and faculty.

“We all talked about how we love each other and how we could never possibly imagine hurting another person, that how it could be anyone around us, or how we could —any of us — could lose our lives in minutes. Today isn’t promised, let alone the next hour, but we all need to start loving each other more,” said student Eamon Ennis.

“We shared things that I don’t think people have heard from each other, so it was a really big bonding moment for our community,” said student Remali De Silva.

Teachers led 30 minute workshops later in the day on topics including the history of shootings in the U.S., the role of the legal system in the gun debate, guns as a Southern U.S. cultural symbol, analyzing data on current events, neuroscience, and strategies of social movements.

The workshops and informational “Teach-In” sessions were guided by six teachers who volunteered to help inform students on a topic close to their own professions and close to the research they’ve conducted their entire lives, according to a statement.

“One of our teachers was born in Texas around guns, and he’s willing to talk about his experience,” said Ennis.

Student Emilia Petters says the workshops are valuable experiences for everyone involved.

“I’m really glad that we organized these workshops because I’m going to get to learn more about gun violence and gun control and be able to form my own perspective on it, separate from what I hear in the media,” said student Emilia Petters.

“I think especially right now in the middle of this whole issue and the protests and the rallies, a lot of people are taking a very strong stance on either side of the argument. It’s hard to find the middle ground, which is really what we need right now to create a solution,” added Petters.

At Polytechnic School, both high school and middle school students, with parents and faculty gathered on Cornell Road near the campus at 10 a.m. to also silently demonstrate for 17 minutes.

Last Friday, The PTA Council of Pasadena Unified School District organized the Arms Around Our Kids campaign in support of children’s safety, in the wake of the recent school shootings.

Demonstrations occurred throughout the Pasadena Unified Community in Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre, and Blair High School a number of elected and community leaders who briefly spoke to the issues surrounding campus violence including Congresswoman Judy Chu, California State senator Anthony Portantino, First District of California PTA president Sandy Russell, and more.

“Those are the sort of things we are really lucky to have because we have such loving and helpful teachers that they’re willing to do this,” said Ennis.