By Roger Straw [Editor: I received this from a Benicia resident who has been in Benicia longer than me: “…Benicia High School students were victims of gun violence, back in the 80s….A jealous ex-boyfriend came on campus and shot his ex-girlfriend in front of everybody. The entire town felt the trauma for many months. The fear and anger are legitimate.” – RS]
About 200 (and up to 400) high school students walked out of Benicia High today, joining a national walkout for gun safety and legislative gun control reforms. (See more on CNN. See more on VOX.)
Those whose parents phoned the school in advance were granted an excused absence. Others were given an unexcused “cut.”
The large contingent marched up Military West, chanting and carrying signs, and accompanied by a Benicia police escort.
Many observers thought they would stop at City Park, but the students continued down Benicia’s main commercial strip, First Street, and gathered near the Carquinez Strait at Marina Green.
There, students created a group poster, registered to vote and cheered for speeches given by their peers.
No one can remember a time in Benicia’s history when students left school in these numbers for a protest.
Benicia stands with Parkland, Florida following tragic school shooting
Benicia High School students took to the streets and City Park on Saturday night – and to Twitter, Instagram and Youtube with heartfelt sorrow and calls for change following the mass shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Scroll down for video.)
Benicia High students planned an evening vigil for Saturday, Feb. 24. Students gathered at Benicia High before dark and walked to City Park. At the Gazebo, they lit candles and honored those who were killed in Parkland.
Planners included Carson Rendell, Enaiya Judkins, Grace French, Meghan Barrett , Chloe Bonini, Karah Fisher, Morgan Bundy, Valentina Quintana, and with media & footage, Chris Weldon & Anders Knutstad.
After the vigil, Chris Weldon wrote:
We had a good turn out with 90% being students. We wore name tags of those who we lost and that are no longer with us. We’ve lost so many in events like Parkland that we ran out of name tags to write names.
We walked from the high school to the gazebo holding signs saying “never again” and wore black. We read stories and such of those who were heros in the tragedy at Stoneman Douglas, we read about each of the victims’ lives and what their plans were, we lost many amazing students and staff in Parkland. All will be missed and were honored. We held candles and had a moment of silence in remembrance of those 17 lives and all lives lost in other mass shootings at schools.
Benicia Students read statements they wrote about the change they would like to see in our country and the steps we as a country need to take. We came together and honored those that we lost and we will continue in the never again movement.
Weldon and Anders Knutstad posted video footage on YouTube:
And more on Instagram:northbayneveragain“North Bay Never Again – Students from North Bay, California working towards ending gun violence. We stand in solidarity with the survivors of MSD. #NeverAgain“
From your Benicia Independent Editor: Never in Benicia, Never Again! It’s time for our elected leaders to take long overdue action to limit the senseless slaughter. See more on the BenIndy here. – R.S.