Seattle students rally against gun violence after fatal Ingraham High School shooting
A couple thousand students crowded outside Seattle City Hall on Monday to demand that Seattle Public Schools, Washington state and city legislators do more to prevent shootings in public schools.
It comes nearly a week after a shooting at Ingraham High Schoolin north Seattle left one student dead. A 14-year-old and a 15-year-old student suspected of being involved in the shooting are currently in custody.
Leaders of two student organizations – Ingraham for Gun Safety and Seattle Student Union – organized the rally.
After the shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students dead, students at Ingraham High School decided to renew their push for gun control. What the students didn’t realize is that months later they themselves would be mourning a classmate.
"We've spent most of our high school careers fighting for gun control and the prevention of shootings in schools, but we find ourselves in the same situation we've been trying so hard to combat," said a student speaker with Ingraham for Gun Safety.
"We are sad. We are angry. And we wish we could say that we are shocked. But we are not. We do not go to school to fear for our lives. This is an entirely preventable situation. And yet here we are standing before you."
Students from around Seattle walked out of school Monday morning to attend the rally. Dozens of Ingraham students packed on the E line bus route or took the light rail train south to get to Seattle City Hall.
After the rally, hundreds of students marched down nearby streets chanting "enough is enough" and "end gun violence, no more silence." Also among the chants: "Martin Floe has got to go" – referring to the principal of Ingraham High School.
"The violence indicated on November 8th was not the first time students did not feel safe in our school buildings. This is a recurring issue that has demanded proper action for years, and yet society has let us down. Administration is letting us down. The district is letting us down," said another student speaker.
Students said the emphasis officials place on gangs and drugs is wrong. Instead, they called on school administrators and legislators to find more money for mental health support in schools.
Specifically, students are calling for the district to add additional mental health staffing – one aide or therapist for every 200 students. Students are also demanding they get a course in how to better manage emotions and behavior as a requirement for high school graduation. They also want school security trained in de-escalation, anti-racism, and restorative justice.