From Tehachapi to Taft, from McFarland to Bakersfield, Kern County’s youth and more showed solidarity with their peers across the country who are suffering one month after a school shooting.
There was shouting and silence.
There was prayer and song.
All as schools across Kern made their voices heard in solidarity with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“I wanna come to school and feel safe and I know that my fellow students want to feel safe and my mom wants me to be safe. We can no longer feel safe at school or almost anywhere,” said Summer Wren, a Foothill High School senior.
Students at Foothill and Independence High School participated in 17 minutes of silence for the 17 killed by a gunman in Parkland, Florida.
“Those kids can no longer have a voice because it was taken away from them by gun violence,” said Wren.
While students from Highland High School and Stockdale High School took their frustration to the streets.
But at McFarland Middle School, younger students released balloons for those lost and wrote letters to send to Parkland students and families.
Parkland is nearly 3000 miles away from McFarland, but the worry of a shooting at school is real for 14-year-old Michelle Ortiz.
We asked if she had ever thought about the issue of guns around schools.
“Yea, since lately there’s been a lot of shootings, I’ve been thinking about it probably more than I should. I think about it every day…that shouldn’t be happening to kids my age or older or younger,” said Ortiz.
In a statement provided by the Kern High School District, Communications Manager Lisa Krch said those who participated in walkouts or walk-ins Wednesday did so in a safe and respectful manner, adding those who walked out returned shortly after to their classes.