On Wednesday morning, Hoos walked out of their classes and congregated in front of the Rotunda to show support for the 17 slain students and faculty members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The high school suffered a tragedy at the hands of a former student, Nikolas Cruz, when he open fired on old classmates and teachers. The shooting took place on February 14th, exactly one month prior to the Wednesday walkout.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized a national event, in which students across the country walked out of their schools to demand stricter gun regulations. Cruz, the perpetrator of the February massacre, is said to have legally purchased the guns used in the attack despite being brought to the FBI’s attention on multiple occasions for questionable behavior.
UVa students gathered in front of the Rotunda around 10 am on Wednesday to stand in solidarity with the Parkland community, remember those who have lost their lives to gun violence, and demand legislative change to avoid such tragedies in the future.
Members of the UVa Student Council addressed the crowd, announcing their desires for stronger gun regulations and called for a moment of silence to remember the victims of the Parkland shooting. StudCo led several chants, yelling “create a new and improved assault weapons ban,” and the crowd responded with “enough is enough.”
Dr. A.D. Carson, an Assistant Professor specializing in Hip Hop and the Global South, read a piece he wrote that addressed gun violence in marginalized communities. Carson believes that this issue is underreported.
“You wont hear of me or my death, I die daily and never cross your mind. Time has taught me that mine is not the reality you wish to see,” he red. “We understand your pain, we’re living it. Our hearts go out to you.”
The gathering ended with the Chapel bell ringing 17 times to represent each of the victims of the Parkland shooting.
WUVA News was on the scene on Wednesday morning. Click here for our video coverage.