New Brunswick School Community Organizes Events to Say #Enough to Gun Violence

Students hold a banner at New Brunswick High School during the “Dear Parkland” event at the high school on March 14. Photo credit New Brunswick Public Schools.

The New Brunswick community joined in solidarity with the #ENOUGH movement today as students, staff and City representatives gathered outside of two of our schools to take a stand against gun violence.

Students, teachers and staff at both New Brunswick High School and New Brunswick Middle School held walkouts to protest gun violence in public schools. The events were organized in the response to the tragic shootings in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and faculty members were killed in their local high school and 17 additional people were injured.

Students at New Brunswick High School speak during the “Dear Parkland” event on March 14 at the high school. Photo credit New Brunswick Public Schools.

#ENOUGH is a national, youth-led campaign that calls for action regarding gun violence in the United States. Schools across the United States participated in today’s walkout in relation to this cause.

Here in town, the students and staff of both the high school and middle school walked out of their buildings at 10 a.m.

The New Brunswick Middle School community first shared speeches over their school intercom and then walked to the school parking lot to release bubbles into the air while reading the names of each of the 17 victims of the Parkland tragedy.

NBHS Students perform a piece during the “Dear Parkland” event at the school on March 14. Photo credit New Brunswick Public Schools.

New Brunswick High School students and staff, Board of Education members, district administration and City representatives convened in front of the high school for a program of speeches, music, dance and spoken word, followed by a release of 17 balloons in honor of the 17 victims.

Mayor Jim Cahill joined the students at New Brunswick High School and thanked them for their enthusiasm.

An excerpt of Mayor Cahill’s speech is as follows:

“While discussions regarding gun violence continue throughout our country, we already see the intensity of our nation’s focus beginning to wane. New voices, all of our voices, must be expressed and heard if we are to ever achieve a new and necessary path to ensure the safety of our schools, our homes and our communities. Because of this, it is imperative, no, even more than that, it is our responsibility and duty that we let our feelings be known and demand action, so that no one, ever, steps into their schools, their workplaces, churches, synagogues and mosques, or even out their front door, fearing for their lives. 

I am optimistic and confidant that if we continue to work together toward the goal to achieve the positive change we need to live in a peaceful society where lives and wellbeing of all people are respected, we will get there, together. I am proud and honored to stand with you and add my voice to yours and say “ENOUGH” to violence in our communities.”

The events at both schools were coordinated with input from both student leaders and faculty members, with the goal of taking a stand together on an important topic.

(L-R) New Brunswick BOE VP Benito Ortiz, Assistant Superintendent Keira Scussa, Mayor Jim Cahill, BOE member Patricia Sadowski, BOE President Dale Caldwell and Superintendent Aubrey Johnson during the “Dear Parkland” event at NBHS. Photo credit New Brunswick Public Schools.

Dr. Aubrey Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, also voiced his pride in the efforts of our students.

“I’m proud to have joined with our high school students today in observing the nationwide demonstration against gun violence and paying tribute to those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Dr. Johnson said. “I support their commitment to making changes for a more peaceful future. Voices raised in solidarity do not go unnoticed.”

Students and staff at New Brunswick High School fill the parking lot during the “Dear Parkland” event on March 14 at the high school. Photo credit New Brunswick Public Schools.

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