STORY BY JOHNATHON HARRIS
After Wednesday’s student walkout against gun violence in America’s schools, two big questions followed McQueen students back into their classrooms:
So what? And, now what?
Neither question has an easy answer, but a free event next Tuesday in the school’s Little Theater, “Making Sense of Gun Violence: Local Leaders on Guns and Student Safety,” may help shed some light on the subject for McQueen students.
The McQueen Excalibur, the student journalism class, is hosting its first community forum at 6 p.m. Tickets are free, but seating is limited. To get a ticket visit the Excalibur’s EventBrite page. Tickets will not be available at the door.
The event will feature guest speakers such as:
- Mayor Hillary Schieve
- RPD Chief Jason Soto
- Policy Director of ACLU Nevada Holly Welborn-Hight
- Assembly Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson
- Senator Julia Ratti
- County Commissioner Kitty Jung
- Nevada Director of Everytown For Gun Safety Lesley Pittman
- President of Washoe School Principals Association Alyson Kendrick
(Guests are subject to change)
“I think it’s a good thing by giving more information on things about gun violence in schools and what our local leaders are doing about it” said journalism student Tahmid Kawsar.
After fielding questions from more than 50 McQueen students, the Excalibur staff decided on three topics for the event:
- Local response to gun violence: From arming teachers to addressing mental health problems, the number of solutions discussed in the news is quite varied. What are some of the solutions being discussed locally/regionally? What are the implications of those responses?
- Separating Fact from Fiction: We have more information available to us than ever before, yet many of us are increasingly uncertain that what we are looking at is correct, misinformation, or simply “fake news.” Which information about gun violence should students focus their attention on, how do different definitions of gun violence affect the conversations we have, and how do we begin to make sense of all that information?
- Taking the Next Step: Students want to feel like their actions have an impact, even if they can’t yet vote. What do walkouts and marches accomplish? What else should they be doing? Which citizen actions have the most impact on Northern Nevada’s lawmakers?
There will also be a Q&A following the panel discussion.
“For most students, this week’s walkout is the first time they have been politically active,” journalism adviser Ryan Smith said. “I’ve talked to so many students who feel like they are supposed to do something, but just aren’t sure what. [The Excalibur staff] hopes this event helps students, no matter their personal belief about guns, to speak confidently and knowledgeably about the topic.”
To get your free ticket, click on the link to our EventBrite page. Tickets will not be available at the door.