Hundreds of Student Pictured 'Taking a Knee' in Silent Gun Protest

March 14, 2018Mar 14, 2018

Hundreds of student in an Atlanta high school have been pictured "taking a knee" on Wednesday as part of a silent protest. The protest is, according to The Hill, intended to honor the victims of the Florida high school shooting that took place in February. 

In fact, The Hill also reports that students nationwide have taken part in a 17-minute long national walkout on Wednesday. The walk-out is taking place exactly one month since the gunman killed 17 people and injured 14 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 

Those students who "took a knee" were protesting in coordination with other students throughout the country who have organized a walkout. A total of 600 students participated in this silent protest at Booker T. Washington High School. Apparently, the demonstration was student-led and had no faculty participation, and it was also intended as a way of showing respect. Taking a knee, believed the students, was a more respectful way of protesting that simply walking out of the building.

Although no faculty participated in the protest, the district communications director, Latisha Gray, has stressed that officials are fully on board with the protest. They do not believe that the protests were a disruptive gesture that took away from what might otherwise have been productive classroom time. Rather, Gray has stressed that officials are "absolutely on board with the students." 

Gray has also claimed that nearly 16,000 of the district's 52,000 students took part in similar demonstrations throughout the district.

The Florida school shooting had led to a national walkout that swept up students in Georgia, some with the support of the school but others facing threats of punishment.

A recent graduate of Walton High School, who protested outside of the school on Wednesday morning with her younger brothers, has complained that she believes too many schools are "shutting down students" who want to protest.

“They are shutting down students who want to stand up and be civically responsible and be a leader for this movement. They basically said that's irrelevant to you," said Katie.  

It is quite likely that the students were mimicking a protesting strategy popularized by NFL players, who would often "take a knee" during the national anthem in order to protest police brutality and racial inequality. 

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