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Local students plan a walkout to stand up against gun violence in schools

NOW: Local students plan a walkout to stand up against gun violence in schools


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- After two school shootings this week and numerous threats made in area schools, students are taking it upon themselves to fight gun violence in schools. A group of teens met in Milwaukee over coffee to come up with a plan to rally their student body next week.

Students say they’re fed up, so on Wednesday, Dec. 4, students from local schools came together to plan a walkout to stand up for their safety.

The recent school shootings and threats have caused anxiety for some students, and they say it’s taking away from their learning.

”We’re supposed to learn the wonders of reading, literature, math and science, you’re not supposed to be worrying about am I going to turn this corner and is someone going to shoot my best friend in the head?” said Michael Orlowski, a senior at Wauwatosa West High School.

”You never know what’s going to happen,” said Riyan Lucas, a sophomore at Escuela Verde High School. “These people that you see on the news, they never saw it coming, and it’s really sad to see.”

The walkout would include nearly 10 schools in the area including some in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay and more.

Their goal is to get the attention of lawmakers.

”Regardless of our zip codes, regardless of who our administrators are, regardless of any of that, we’re here to show our state legislators and our State Senate that we’re here and we’re united and we’re ready for change,” adds Orlowski.

Students want lawmakers to prioritize school safety by changing gun laws to include universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders.

Orlowski says mental health also plays an important role in student well-being.

”They’re looking for exits rather than focusing on class and that’s not how we should be operating as student,” said Tyler Kelly, a senior at Franklin High School. “I think it’s a shame that our government has failed to pass policies to protect kids, to protect families and to protect communities.”

”I’m really hoping that this will get them to care at least a little bit more than they do now,” adds Lucas.

The walkout is planned for Friday, Dec. 13. CBS 58 will continue to follow this story.

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Ron 174 days ago
I watched the news coverage of the incidents in Oshkosh and Waukesha. I’m really disappointed that the news has described these incidents as “school shootings”. It borders on irresponsible journalism. By calling it a “school shooting” or even a “shooting” It leads the consumer to believe this is somehow similar to the tragic incidents at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School or any other ACTUAL active shooter situation. Those were actual school shootings where one or more heavily armed gunman entered a school with the sole purpose of killing as many people as possible. Using the current media’s logic calling this a school shooting, shouldn’t the school resource officer be described as “the shooter” or “the gunman”? I hope you can appreciate how ridiculous that sounds. Unfortunately, the media has now created, cultivated, and spread a atmosphere of fear amongst people who cannot see these incidents for what they were.
The recent incidents in Wisconsin could at BEST be described as a police involved shooting. The only person that did any shooting, in either incident, was a law enforcement officer. It should also be noted that the reason the law enforcement officers discharged their weapons was to defend themselves against a perceived threat in Waukesha and an actual threat in Oshkosh (by someone with a knife not a gun). Why aren’t these incidents more properly described in the news as exactly what they were; two separate attacks on school resource officers?
When I watch the news and see interviews where reporters get people to describe how relieved they are that their son/daughter wasn’t shot I believe there needs to be some clarity to that comment. The threat of being shot is as much a reality and likelihood for every student and staff member EVERY DAY of the school year because the guy who did the shooting, the guy who has the gun (the SRO) will be on duty every day of the school year. Unless their son/daughter threatens the guy with the gun, the“shooter”, they will be as safe as they would on any other day.
Furthermore, these students who are walking out of class and protesting are completely delusional in their attempt to draw a direct relationship between what happened in Waukesha and Oshkosh and gun control. First, the only people who had guns at these incidents were law enforcement. By the students’ logic, there should be more gun control over law enforcement. Second, the weapon displayed in Waukesha is not a gun that gun control laws are intended regulate so their protest to bring more attention to gun control is useless for this type of “weapon”. Third, the student in Oshkosh didn’t have a firearm of any type. It should also be noted that the student armed with the knife did the most harm in these situations. The officer was actually injured by the weapon he had to defend himself against. I don’t hear a word from these students about knife control. If you are going to use these incidents to push an agenda shouldn’t the weapon that was used against someone, that did the most harm, be the focal point of your protest?
Possibly a more accurate story would be to highlight the brave SROs that are working in these schools, often without back up, protecting thousands of children. Perhaps more media coverage about how the Oshkosh officer is recovering after being injured in an attack would be more appropriate. How about protesting to have more than one SRO in each school especially since school leaders say they can’t do much more to protect the students?

To summarize, I am completely disappointed at the news for the hyped up coverage of these events, characterizing these incidents as something they were not, and now covering the resulting misguided attempts to draw attention to a cause that wouldn’t have affected the outcome in either situation.

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