Tigard High students join students in National School Walkout
An estimated 100 Tigard High School students joined students nationwide Friday as part of National School Walkout day in an effort to call attention to enacting what they see as more sensible gun control laws.
At 10 a.m., the students exited at THS's front door, walked silently for a short distance before re-entering the building near the entrance to the school's cafeteria.
Sophomore Meghan Turley, one of the organizers of the event, said the main reason for the walkout was to call attention for a need for sensible gun laws.
That includes, she said: Raising the age a person can buy a gun, conducting universal background checks, closing the so-called "gun show loophole" (current laws allow for more lenient gun-selling requirements), and banning high-capacity gun magazines and bump stocks (the latter of which were recently outlawed by the U.S. Department of Justice).
While this walkout was smaller than the March 14 event, which drew an estimated 700 to 800 students at Tigard High, that was likely because of the different tone of the two events, Turley speculated.
"This walkout was political," said Turley. "Last walkout was (about) solidarity with political undertones."
While the students weren't asking for administrative permission, they did notify school officials of their plans, said Turley.
Other Tigard High organizers of the event included sophomores Jessica Woolfolk, Caitlin Smith and Olivia Young, and senior Baylee Bergquist.
Turley spoke to her fellow students during the event as well, telling them she was tired of fighting, tired of marching and tired of organizing walkouts. She urged students to get out and vote.
Bergquist told students that her generation had become sensitized to school shootings because of their frequency.
Meanwhile, Avery Betz, a sophomore, urged students to become the ones involved in preventing future school shootings.
"Let's be the generation that makes our school safe, and safe for all the generations to come," said Betz, saying that politicians "are using our health as a pawn in their political chess game."
So does Turley think the event will persuade lawmakers to enact some type of legislation?
"I think it's definitely starting to get their attention," said Turley.
Cait Smit, a sophomore at Tigard High School, also contributed to this report.