By Farah Harb
The Arab American News
DEARBORN – On the one month anniversary of the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students in various high schools across the country walked out for 17 minutes to protest gun violence with placards and T-shirts that read #Enough.
The cold temperatures did not stop Fordson High School students in Dearborn from joining other students around the nation in a 17 minute protest, raising posters that read “enough”, “17 minutes, 17 victims” and “Fear has no place in our schools”, to name a few.
Adam Bazzi, a senior at Dearborn High School and a protest organizer, said he estimates that about 80 percent of students at his school participated in the walk-out.
Students at Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights used their bodies to form the word “enough” with the “hashtag” symbol, as seen in an aerial view.
While students were marching in solidarity around the state and the nation, the U.S. House of Representatives approved spending more money on metal detectors, locks and other school security measures.
With a vote of 407-10, lawmakers voted for legislation to spend $50 million to $75 million per year from 2019 through 2028 on school security and safety training.
Despite the bill’s bi-partisan support, there were no measures taken to tighten the grip on gun control measures, despite the shootings that have struck nationwide.
Adam Bazzi, a senior at Dearborn High School and a protest organizer, said he estimates that about 80 percent of students at his school participated in the walkout.
“This is one of the hundreds of mass shootings we’ve had over many years,” said Rima Saad, a student at Fordson High school. She added that we need change, gun reform and background checks, but she’s not in favor of arming teachers.
“I’m not liked by my teachers,” said one student who asked not to be named when asked about arming trained teachers on campus. “If you give my teacher a gun, she would probably shoot me.”
Another student who also didn’t want to give her name said she wouldn’t mind having her teachers armed, as long as they’re trained.
While Democratic lawmakers requested that Republican leaders press on gun control measures like expanding background checks and cracking down on assault weapons, House GOP leaders are holding back to see what the Senate can pass, if at all.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Florida shooting to address the failures by the FBI and law enforcement agencies to act on warning signs the gunman displayed before the attack.
In Dearborn, Superintendent Glenn Maleyko was present at the walkout.
“We are not involved in coordinating this event, but what we are doing is allowing students to exercise their First Amendment right to freedom of speech,” he said, adding that school officials asked the leadership government groups what they had planned in all three of the high schools.
“So we are not taking sides, but we are supporting our students and their safety,” Maleyko said. “And the reason I’m here is to protect our students’ safety.”
The AANews reporters Hassan Khalifeh and Stephen Martin contributed to this story.