Around 75 Florida students staged a different kind of walkout on Friday than what has been seen on the national news of late.
Sporting at least one Gadsden flag and holding signs with messages like “I support the right to bear arms” and “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” students from Rockledge High School in Brevard County, Florida wanted to make it clear that “not all students feel” the way other students nationally do when it comes to gun control.
According to Florida Today, the event lasted around 20 minutes before students headed back to class.
Junior Anna Delaney and sophomore Chloe Deaton, sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “my rights don’t end where you feelings begin,” organized the event. Both are reportedly part of the school’s Criminal Justice and Legal Studies Academy.
“We were built on certain rights and that was one of the original rights, that we should have the right to bear arms,” Deaton told the group.
When it was Delaney’s turn to speak, she quoted former President Reagan at a 1983 NRA banquet: “The Constitution does not say that government shall decree the right to keep and bear arms. The Constitution says ‘… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'”
“It’s all over the news right now that all students hate guns. I wanted to show that not all students feel that way,” Rockledge junior Zachary Schneider told Florida Today.
According to Florida Today, “Event organizers and participants said they were disappointed the student walkouts on March 14, marking a month since the Parkland shooting, turned political. Deaton said the original purpose of the student walkouts was to honor the victims of the shooting, but parents and social media warped the message to support gun control.”
“In the beginning, it started as a memorial to the Parkland students. And that’s how it should have stayed,” said Deaton.
Some students expressed support for arming school staff.
“If they (school staff) are capable, we should allow it. They’re just going to tell us to hide during a school shooting?” said junior John King.