Vermont students rally in support of gun rights

Published: May. 2, 2018 at 3:59 PM EDT
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Students in East Montpelier stood up for the Second Amendment Wednesday.

"It's a walkout, I guess, kind of in response to the other walkout. Pro-Second Amendment, gun rights in general," said Dylan Lawrence, a junior at U-32.

About 100 U-32 students walked out of class to show their voices matter, too. This, after students across the country walked out of class after the Parkland school shooting to rally for stricter gun legislation.

"There are other solutions than restricting gun rights," Lawrence said.

Lawrence helped make the shirts he and others wore. It's part of a nationwide effort to show not all students agree more gun laws are the answer to protect schools.

Washington Central School Superintendent Bill Kimball said the administration supports students' decisions to demonstrate their beliefs freely.

"The students have been working with staff and administrators to say, how can we have this conversation?" Kimball said.

There were no sanctions for students who participated in the walkout, the same as when students walked out in March.

"Kids shouldn't be dying but people shouldn't be trying to get rid of our constitutional rights either," said Harley DeWald-Emick, a senior.

DeWald-Emick participated in both of the school's walkouts. She says each side has valid arguments but she believes keeping guns out of the hands of people deemed mentally unstable and requiring gun safes could be a start to the solution.

"You can say that it's not guns, it's people," DeWald-Emick said. "But like a high school kid can't walk into a school and kill 17 kids with his bare hands and not be stopped... a gun also can't shoot a kid by itself."

A parent of one of the students at U-32 said he was happy the administration allowed students to express their views. They also suggested a day be recognized every year dedicated to the gun regulation debate covering knowledge and safety from both sides.