Walking out for a change

Students across the district plan to walkout on Friday to show their support for gun control


Ria Bhasin

With stacks of flyers detailing the student led walkout scheduled for April 20, senior Parker Butler, along with juniors Dena Assad and Amina Syeda discuss their plan for handing out the flyers and raising awareness for the event.

Students across Frisco ISD are planning to take part in Friday’s National School Walkout in an effort to bring awareness to political issues and to promote student activism. Scheduled during advisory period, the walkout comes on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, and a little more than two months after the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14.

Frisco ISD is neutral – not supporting, or opposing the planned walkout,

— FISD Director of Communications Meghan Cone

For students organizing Friday’s walkout, more should be done regarding the regulation of gun ownership in the U.S.

“We support raising the age to obtain a gun to 21 due to the fact that majority of gun violence has been committed by individuals between the age of 18-21,” the school’s district leader and speaker for the walkout, junior Dena Asaad said via text. “We support banning of bump stocks—which basically turns a legal weapon, through the use of a legal manufactured accessory, to act as an illegal weapon. Universal stricter background checks are also necessary. There are several loopholes, such as the boyfriend loophole, the gun show loophole, the Brady Bill loophole (private seller loophole) etc., that allows those who shouldn’t get guns to untainted them.”

Since the walkout will occur during advisory and is not intended to be a disruption to class time, the district is neither preventing, nor promoting the event.

“Frisco ISD is neutral – not supporting, or opposing the planned walkout,” FISD assistant director of communications, Meghan Cone said via email. “During school hours, employees are also asked to avoid taking a position, or expressing an opinion supporting, or contradicting the students’ opinions. Frisco ISD may treat any absence in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.”

Although gun legislation is an element of Friday’s walkout, campus organizers are also concerned with cultivating a generation of politically involved young adults.

“Many people believe the walkout will be ineffective because it is anti-gun, or that there is no point in doing this,” walkout coordinator and speaker, junior Aarti Poduval said via text. “However to incite change, we must draw attention to these topics through protests and moreover, the voter registration information tomorrow will encourage voting for change.”

Keegan Williams
Parents of students were sent this email from Principal Ashley Rainwater on Thursday regarding Friday’s walkout.

With student involvement in general as the focus, organizers plan to explain the voting process and how to research candidates, hand out voter registration sheets, pamphlets from the League of Women Voters, and provide a remind system for students when they turn 17 and ten months, the eligible voter registration age.

“I want to be able to contribute to the world and implement change when change is needed,” Asaad said via text. “A key factor of that is student activism and that is why I wanted to organize a walkout at Liberty High School. We see a problem that needs to be fixed and I wholeheartedly believe it starts with the students. If we are active now and understand what is occurring in the world around us, we can make the future a better place for our generation and the generations after.”

With more than 200 students intending to take part in the walkout, agenda coordinator and speaker, junior Ria Bhasin believes this could be an influential launching point of more students getting involved in the policies that affect them

This walkout, whether you support it or not, generated political discussion amongst students,” Bhasin said via text. “Just by sparking a conversation, students start to think as change-makers. This walkout opens the world of political and social advocacy to those who may not have been exposed to it before. It also allows for experienced political advocators to utilize the walkout as a platform to speak on their own beliefs.”