Bellaire students organize brief gun control walkout for Friday
Bellaire High School students have organized to join the nationwide walk-out Friday (April 20) to call attention to the epidemic of gun violence in U.S. schools.
A student committee has organized a walkout from 1-1:17 p.m. on the campus football field, which may include moments of silence, brief remarks, and the opportunity to write messages to legislators. The length is to memorialize the 17 students killed by a student gunman in February at a Florida high school.
Principal Michael McDonough stressed today (Thursday, April 18) to the school community that participation is voluntary and that teachers are not permitted to take part. Campus personnel and HISD police will supervise the event.
“…Neither the HISD nor Bellaire has an official position regarding the issue that is leading them to demonstrate,” McDonough said. “However both the HISD and Bellaire do support their right to demonstrate.” Students will have the opportunity to make up any missed work.
The principal emphasized respect for students’ choices. This is part of his message:
I want to remind us all that whether someone decides to participate or not is up to them. And the choice that they make should not define their position on this issue or any issue. When moved with passion on any matter or concern, we can each be active in unique ways. Sometimes that is demonstrative and includes being visible at a rally or protest. Other times it may be from behind a keyboard or pen. And it can also be by simply registering to vote and then following through on that commitment.
Bellaire and the City of Houston are incredible examples to the nation and the world of how well people can recognize, respect, and rejoice in all that makes us individuals. Diversity of thought is what makes the whole stronger and allows the best ideas to flourish.
So over the next 24 hours, 24 days, and 24 years, you will come across many opportunities to share your ideas and passions with others. And by choosing to be a part of the Bellaire family, and embrace our values as a school community, you will be more prepared than your peers for your very own future. I know I can count on each of you to respect each other and refrain from making judgments of others simply based on this single event.