On Friday, April 20, 2018 more than 300 George School students participated in the #GSWalkOut, a student driven event calling for stronger gun laws.
Students, faculty, and staff gathered on Red Square shortly after 8:00 a.m. on Friday to listen to student speeches before walking to Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s office. The students presented his office with a letter asking for him to support specific legislative action that works to reduce gun violence.
“We are the only country in the world where school shootings are an almost regular occurrence,” said Emma Schneider ’19. “Over 187,000 American students have been affected by these acts of violence, whether it be death, injury, or PTSD. These affect students’ lives in permanent ways.”
In the letter, students encouraged Congressman Fitzpatrick to support legislation that bans the commercial sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines, demands all sales of guns to be licensed sales, and support gun sale accountability, ending the militarization of law enforcement, and continue to oppose H.R. 38, which would force Pennsylvania to abide by an unsafe open carry policy.
“The end goal of this movement is not to get rid of guns,” said Emma. “I do not want your guns. I want to grow up. I want to know that my sister is safe at school across the country. I want to ensure that the wrong people do not end up with access to guns, and right now we are failing.”
Although this was a student planned, publicized, and executed event the school supported the event. “As a Friends school, we are happy to support the students’ activism against gun violence and help them learn how to express themselves responsibly on issues they care about,” said Head of School Sam Houser. Sam joined several other heads of Quaker schools last month, by signing a statement of support in favor of student activism around gun violence.