Inside look: Ann Arbor high school students walk out to protest gun violence

By Sami Ruud

Students at Huron High School hold up signs during their school's walk out (Photo: Sami Ruud)

ANN ARBOR - At exactly 10:00 am Wednesday, seas of students poured out their school doors across the country, including in Ann Arbor.

The students made their way to designated protest areas and used the next 17 minutes to peacefully protest against gun violence, and to support the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida, mass school shooting on Feb. 14. 

Huron High School students participate in the national walk out (Photo: Sami Ruud)

All Ann Arbor high schools participated, along with a few of the middle schools. The students had slightly different agendas, but they all consisted of the same things. There were student speakers who shared their thoughts and opinions over megaphones and there was a moment of silence for the victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Many students brought posters they had made the night before, with different slogans, such as "Protect children, not guns" and "No more shootings."

Huron High School students hold up signs on the school's athletic fields (Photo: Sami Ruud)

At Huron High School, four students spoke. The words of one of them, senior Shamim Wambere, were so powerful that the entire group of students who walked out cheered after every sentence.

"As students, we have to be the change we want to see in the world. And as all of you are out here, I see that you are ready to be that change," Wambere said.

Student speakers address the crowd at Huron High School (Photo: Sami Ruud)

Hundreds students listen to speeches given by their peers (Photo: Sami Ruud)

At Skyline High School, students walked out onto the football field, where there were also four speakers. The first speaker listed the names of every student who died in the Parkland shooting, which was followed by a moment of silence. One student played the guitar while another sang a song called "Zombies." There was also a pledge people could sign to promise to vote in the future, since many students will be 18 by the upcoming midterm election or the one following. 

Students protest at Huron High School (Photo: Sami Ruud)

Students at Pioneer High School chanted down the halls on their way outside at 10 o’clock. Students chanted "We are students. We are change." There was a moment of silence at 10:16 a.m.

At Community, students spoke and also observed a moment of silence.

Huron High students march together as part of the national walk out (Photo: Sami Ruud)

After the school walkouts, some Washtenaw County students left their schools for the rest of the day to continue to raise their voices in protest. They went to Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, where they listened to more student speakers.

"The sound of a bullet is so damn loud, but our voices are so much louder," Hasna Ghalib said in her speech.

A Huron student holds up a sign listing major mass shootings in the U.S. (Photo: Sami Ruud)

Lincoln High School student Taylor Coon participated in the protest holding a sign saying, "Protect kids, not guns." 

"Personally, it felt really empowering to see all of the students come together to support the same cause," Coon said.

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