Walking the walk
Exactly one month from the day that a gunman shot 17 people to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, local students and their peers across the nation said they wouldn’t stand for that—so they walked.
March 14 marked the first National School Walkout, where thousands of students left their classrooms at 10am to demand gun control legislation.
As a seemingly endless current of teenagers streamed out of Charlottesville High School, 17 students lay motionless with their eyes shut tight, while holding signs made of red paper and black letters that spelled out the names of each victim of the Parkland shootings.
“We’ve become numb to the fear,” said senior Fré Halvorson-Taylor into a bullhorn to about 700 of her peers. She was reading from a statement that she wrote with Albemarle High School student Camille Pastore, and that representatives from Monticello and Western Albemarle high schools approved.
“The idea was that it would be read at all the surrounding schools or otherwise disseminated to the Charlottesville community,” Halvorson-Taylor says.
Over at Monticello High, teenagers also flooded out the front doors of their school, but the students who organized their walkout asked for 17 full minutes of silence as the group walked, one minute for each person killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
And as those same names were read at Albemarle High School, an all-female acapella group sang Coldplay’s “Fix You.”
Among the many signs held there, several said the same things: “Enough is enough. Arm us with books, not bullets,” and “We care, but do you?”
Several local students are organizing buses to Washington, D.C., for the March For Our Lives this weekend.
A dozen area activist groups, such as the local chapter of Moms Demand Action and the Charlottesville Coalition for Gun Violence Prevention, have organized a sister event at the Sprint Pavilion from 2-4pm on March 24 to demand that the lives and safety of young people in schools become a priority.
“I don’t know what to say but that. That was a thorough butt-whupping.”—UVA Coach Tony Bennett after the historic loss of his No. 1-seeded Cavaliers to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament
City settles FOIA lawsuit
Charlottesville will give freelance reporters Jackson Landers and Natalie Jacobsen redacted copies of police operational plans for August 12 as part of a settlement of their Freedom of Information Act request and lawsuit. The reporters also asked for Virginia State Police plans, but the state argued March 13 in court against turning plans over because they may reuse them. Because they worked so well the first time?
While the General Assembly killed all bills that would allow Charlottesville to better control another Unite the Right rally, it did pass a bill carried by Delegate Steve Landes that will allow Albemarle to regulate parking on secondary highways.
New research from meal delivery service Food Box HQ says Virginia singles are among the least likely in the nation to date vegans. In a recent survey, 38 percent indicated that they would not consider dating someone with a diet sans animal products.
New historical society head
After Steven Meeks abruptly resigned as executive director of the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society last month, the organization’s board of directors named journalist, author and historian Coy Barefoot as his successor.
Andrew J. Yost, a 49-year-old who was struck by a sedan while out jogging around 8:30pm February 19 in Barboursville, succumbed to his injuries at the University of Virginia Medical Center on March 10. Driver Guy Wilde, also 49, was charged with one felony count of hit and run.