Kennedy Students Stage Walkout After Violent Week Against Youth
The shooting death last week of Metro High School teenager Andrew Gaston, killed in the city's Northeast quadrant and that of 22-year-old Jose Ramirez this week show young people being far too susceptible to what some see as an ever-growing gun violence problem.
A gun-related crime in the form of an armed robbery happened in their own school parking lot earlier this week with the suspect, 18-year-old Jovon Ellis now in custody. That was enough for several Kennedy High School students to take action on Wednesday and stage a walkout to protest gun-related crimes among and against youth.
The group gathered around 9:30 a.m. outside Kennedy to address each other and their community and school leaders for about 30 minutes. Among those speaking out, according to the Gazette, included Noah Lehr, a 17-year-old who said in regards to the Jovon Ellis incident:
I’m here to say we deserve better. On Jan. 27 at approximately 3:30 p.m., I sat in the Kennedy orchestra room. Little did we know an armed gunman was among us on campus.
Another student, 17-year-old Raafa Elsheikh summed it up in an equally powerful statement:
This is a fight so that school can once again become about learning, because the only thing I should be worried about when I go to school is my math test, not my life
The protesters say they were calling for an end to gun violence, voicing their displeasure at the handling of the armed robbery incident by administrators, and demanding heavier attention by lawmakers to improved gun control legislation.