News

Middle school students in Pleasanton organize walkout to protest gun violence

Call for stricter laws in wake of Uvalde school shooting

Over 300 students at Thomas Hart Middle School listen to student speakers during a walkout protesting gun violence Tuesday morning. (Photo courtesy of David Haglund.)

More than 300 students at Hart Middle School participated in a walkout Tuesday morning in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school one week earlier.

Patrick Gannon, director of communications for the Pleasanton Unified School District, said the walkout lasted approximately 10 minutes and that "student organizers reached out to the school administration to inform them and receive authorization to hold the demonstration on campus prior to holding the event."

He said the organizers, participants and student speakers were all respectful, responsible and returned to class following the demonstration.

"We are proud of the student organizers who chose to stand up and act on something they believed strongly in," PUSD Superintendent David Haglund told the Weekly. "I am grateful that they did so in a safe, respectful and responsible way by working with their school administrators. This is truly our PUSD mission in action: our students will make a better world."

Haglund, who attended the walkout, said he is saddened that the Pleasanton school community, along with those across the country, are dealing with another shooting -- this time at an elementary school.

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"Once again, families are grieving the loss of children and others the loss of a mother who simply chose to be a teacher. No family should ever have to fear sending a loved one to school," Haglund said.

He also spoke about the $10.7 million in Measure I1 funds to improve campus safety. Some of these improvements are new fencing to limit entry when school is in session as well as security cameras and modern communication, alarm and intercom systems.

"In total, we will have invested $14.9 million in safety-related improvements by the end of 2022. The district office and each school site have comprehensive safety plans in place that outline staff and student training and related drills to ensure individuals know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency," Haglund said.

He added that there is support available to staff, students and families in the forms of wellness centers, school psychologists, social workers and student assistance program specialists. He said that the district is also working with the Pleasanton Police Department on training and monthly safety drills.

"I look forward to engaging our community in ongoing efforts to support safety on our campuses so that our students and our staff can maintain their focus on teaching and learning that is anchored in our classrooms," Haglund said. "Our children need us to be engaged, and to do much, much more than offer our thoughts and prayers."

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Middle school students in Pleasanton organize walkout to protest gun violence

Call for stricter laws in wake of Uvalde school shooting

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, May 31, 2022, 6:14 pm

More than 300 students at Hart Middle School participated in a walkout Tuesday morning in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas where 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school one week earlier.

Patrick Gannon, director of communications for the Pleasanton Unified School District, said the walkout lasted approximately 10 minutes and that "student organizers reached out to the school administration to inform them and receive authorization to hold the demonstration on campus prior to holding the event."

He said the organizers, participants and student speakers were all respectful, responsible and returned to class following the demonstration.

"We are proud of the student organizers who chose to stand up and act on something they believed strongly in," PUSD Superintendent David Haglund told the Weekly. "I am grateful that they did so in a safe, respectful and responsible way by working with their school administrators. This is truly our PUSD mission in action: our students will make a better world."

Haglund, who attended the walkout, said he is saddened that the Pleasanton school community, along with those across the country, are dealing with another shooting -- this time at an elementary school.

"Once again, families are grieving the loss of children and others the loss of a mother who simply chose to be a teacher. No family should ever have to fear sending a loved one to school," Haglund said.

He also spoke about the $10.7 million in Measure I1 funds to improve campus safety. Some of these improvements are new fencing to limit entry when school is in session as well as security cameras and modern communication, alarm and intercom systems.

"In total, we will have invested $14.9 million in safety-related improvements by the end of 2022. The district office and each school site have comprehensive safety plans in place that outline staff and student training and related drills to ensure individuals know what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency," Haglund said.

He added that there is support available to staff, students and families in the forms of wellness centers, school psychologists, social workers and student assistance program specialists. He said that the district is also working with the Pleasanton Police Department on training and monthly safety drills.

"I look forward to engaging our community in ongoing efforts to support safety on our campuses so that our students and our staff can maintain their focus on teaching and learning that is anchored in our classrooms," Haglund said. "Our children need us to be engaged, and to do much, much more than offer our thoughts and prayers."

Comments

Joe V
Registered user
Birdland
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:24 am
Joe V, Birdland
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:24 am

Great to read this news story, and the way it was handled by PUSD.
Hopefully our children will do better for our country than the current "adults" in power, trying to stop these massacres that continue to happen.
Can't understand how an 18 year old, with no direction in life, is able to buy a war weapon, all the ammunition wanted, with no questions asked.


Swagu
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:57 am
Swagu, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:57 am

Total OD deaths every year: 100,000
Total mass gun deaths since 1982: 952

Annual deaths from knives - 1739
Annual deaths from hands/fists/punching - 662
Annual deaths from "assault weapon" rifles - 455


Get the Facts
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2022 at 12:34 pm
Get the Facts, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 12:34 pm

Swagu, I'm not sure your point. Over 45k people die of gun deaths in this country. Just because a small percentage of that number is mass shootings, we still have a gun and gun death problem in this country:
Web Link


Joe V
Registered user
Birdland
on Jun 1, 2022 at 1:55 pm
Joe V, Birdland
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 1:55 pm

Dying from a situation you place yourself in can not be compared to dying as a child while attending school, while shopping for groceries or attending church.
These type of comparisons, a lack of empathy, are two examples of why nothing is ever done to get the attention of the people in power who can make the biggest difference.






Swagu
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Jun 1, 2022 at 4:05 pm
Swagu, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 4:05 pm

1) A majority of those deaths are from suicide, not homicide.

2) How many of you remember Darrell Brooks and why didn't that get nearly as much media attention in 2021?

3) What specific policies do you want to change? The gunman was a legal adult (18) and purchased the weapon/ammo legally. And keep in mind most firearm deaths are from small handgun/pistols. What do you want? To ban all firearms? Only 25+ can buy? Right now 18 year olds are serving our military with them as we speak.


Kevin
Registered user
Castlewood
on Jun 1, 2022 at 7:05 pm
Kevin, Castlewood
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 7:05 pm

An 18 year old in military goes through a lot background checks and training before they get a hold of the gun. And even then, the gun is not theirs, it is a property of the government - the gun and bullets are all tracked and traced. I am ok if you have 18 year olds go through that rigorous process and buy guns. But, no the gun lobby and their politicians don’t like that.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:07 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 10:07 pm

"An 18 year old in military goes through a lot background checks and training before they get a hold of the gun. And even then, the gun is not theirs, it is a property of the government - the gun and bullets are all tracked and traced. I am ok if you have 18 year olds go through that rigorous process and buy guns. But, no the gun lobby and their politicians don’t like that."


Not surprising why people don't like it because people paying attention know that it really doesn't matter if you can do it successfully or not.

The same procedure (checks, training, etc.) exists for getting a concealed weapons permit in most states. Gun control supporters still complain that these people who have already completed this process will lead to increased violence and are public safety threats. "Progressive" states rarely issue permits to anyone, regardless of their ability/background. Politicians in this state had a fit when a proposed bill in Congress would have required California to honor permits from out of state residents visiting here.


Swagu
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Jun 1, 2022 at 11:33 pm
Swagu, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Jun 1, 2022 at 11:33 pm

The war on drugs (banning them) hasn't stopped criminals from getting drugs.

Why wouldn't criminals be able to A) get black-market illegal guns OR B) get ghost guns that are unregistered?

If a criminal wants to get something (guns, drugs) they will..regardless if law abiding citizens are able to or not.
If a criminal wants to kill they can use many kinds of weapons (such as a Car that Brooks used at that Wisconsin parade).


Bill Brasky
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jun 2, 2022 at 8:32 am
Bill Brasky, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2022 at 8:32 am

New law: You must be 21 yrs old to purchase a gun.

AK and military style guns need to be co-signed but a 2nd “adult”.

Not mandatory but encouraged by NRA to take on-line or in person safety class every 5 yrs.


Tom Richert
Registered user
Castlewood
on Jun 2, 2022 at 6:42 pm
Tom Richert, Castlewood
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2022 at 6:42 pm

California law…you must be 21 to buy cigarettes, unless you are a member of the armed forces.
Hey. What’s wrong with making that the standard for buying guns or bullets, and make it illegal to buy or possess body armor.
I’m so proud of students at Hart, a respectful demonstration, for an important issue.
My granddaughter is a student, and until my grandson left for Foothill he was also a student.
Faculty…you’ve done a great job in educating my kids to speak up without fear.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 2, 2022 at 7:36 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2022 at 7:36 pm

I’m glad our students are engaged in social events

I’m sad the schools have failed to balance the statistics of social events with us history and why certain rights exist

These coordinated walkouts don’t deliver change. They just provide a false sense of “I did something “. Why not use a English class to write a us senator or congressman.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:45 pm
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:45 pm

"California law…you must be 21 to buy cigarettes, unless you are a member of the armed forces. Hey. What’s wrong with making that the standard for buying guns or bullets, ..."


Hey. What's wrong with it? It doesn't sound like what the organizer of the rally was thinking about:

Web Link

"When I realized that the 19 people killed were all elementary schoolers (two teachers were also killed) and a couple of years ago that could have been me…it could still be me because the world isn't a safe place with guns," she told KRON4 News."

The "standard" of safety is....no guns at all. Is anyone surprised by this? Kids are probably getting an "education" in the public school system, media outlets, etc. about how firearms are inherently bad and "cause" violence vs. the person actually doing to shooting, his/her mental state, why it was done, warning signs beforehand, meaning of the 2nd Amendment, etc.


Michael B
Registered user
Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 3, 2022 at 2:06 am
Michael B, Pleasanton Valley
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 2:06 am

You see, you can’t blame the politicians when the public continues to make excuses for these people and their actions which is their right to do so in this country. I sure can’t stop anyone from taking that position which you are whether you admit it or not. Why don’t you just cut the bs and say you are ok with these mass shootings so at least we know where we stand in all this. Because talking out both sides of your mouth just doesn’t cut it anymore. It just doesn't. Nor do the same old pathetic arguments that were wrong the day some fool first uttered them as they are now. You know like, guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Or, if you take away all the guns, only criminals will have them. Or how about something real and American. The 2nd Amendment. I mean it doesn’t get any more clear cut than that right? I mean it’s more than some law allowing us to bear arms, it’s a right that we are given the day we are born in this country and is part of American culture. I really wonder if any of you even know why it was important to have that right at the time and why it’s become a meaningless right today. I mean aside from the fact that it allows adults to purchase arms with the intent of killing innocent people which was always part of the bargain and not relevant to why it’s become obsolete. Simply put, if our government today decided they wanted to take all our guns away, do you think all of our guns are going to stop them? I hate to break the news to you but if our government wants to take our guns away they’re going to one way or the other. And lastly, there are proven ways of reducing these kinds of sickening, unconscionable acts that most all civilized countries have adopted with great success. From Australia to New Zealand to Europe and many others, it doesn’t take the government to come in and take everyone’s guns away. It just takes some simple common sense and a willingness to change for the better without giving up hardly anything in return.


Michael B
Registered user
Ponderosa
on Jun 3, 2022 at 2:14 am
Michael B, Ponderosa
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 2:14 am

How Michael B’s are there for crying out loud? 10 posts and Michael B is common name? Now I’ve made it much worse in changing my location to Ponderosa to try and distinguish because I can’t change the name. What a joke. I’m Michael B from Pleasanton Valley and Ponderosa wherever that is. Sorry for the confusion next time I’ll choose a different name.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 3, 2022 at 8:51 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 8:51 am

"You see, you can’t blame the politicians when the public continues to make excuses for these people and their actions which is their right to do so in this country. I sure can’t stop anyone from taking that position which you are whether you admit it or not. Why don’t you just cut the bs and say you are ok with these mass shootings so at least we know where we stand in all this. Because talking out both sides of your mouth just doesn’t cut it anymore. It just doesn't. Nor do the same old pathetic arguments that were wrong the day some fool first uttered them as they are now."

I agree. It is indeed pathetic (and not okay) to disregard or ignore mental illness, drug use, fatherless children, law enforcement failures, increased security at schools, social isolation, etc. to explain why people carry out and/or to prevent mass shootings. It is much more "progressive" to respond with the following: "It's "gun violence", everyone who has a gun is "collectively guilty" of it, and therefore we need ban/restrict/confiscate/"buy back" guns we don't like (and which have been around for years) for people who have nothing to do with school shootings to stop it from happening again".


Swagu
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Jun 3, 2022 at 9:46 am
Swagu, Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 9:46 am

We need to ban all guns! It's totally worked for the war on drugs!!


Bill Brasky
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Jun 3, 2022 at 1:28 pm
Bill Brasky, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Jun 3, 2022 at 1:28 pm

Hyperbole, No one is banning all guns.
I am willing to bet that James Madison would strike a compromise from his OG 2nd amendment. Society and the type of fire power we have today makes it only logical.
The founders were logical and deep thinkers.
Bump the gun buy age to 21 and add a co-signee to anyone buying military style assault weapons.
Done, no one is banning guns, only sensible rules.


Jake Waters
Registered user
Birdland
on Jun 6, 2022 at 8:33 am
Jake Waters, Birdland
Registered user
on Jun 6, 2022 at 8:33 am

Subtitle of this editorial: Call for stricter laws in wake of Uvalde school shooting.

California has some of the strongest legislation on guns, but still no change. They had a ten year ban on ‘assault rifles,’ but no improvement. So why did the teacher’s Union not fight against the California Legislature as they ended (not continue) a standing legal requirement that school employees report threats of violence? Parkland all over again. More kids die on fentanyl each year, but Democrats still don’t want to talk about the southern boarder- any walkouts on that issue? Yes, Democrats have made this political over the lives of kids.


Laurie
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2022 at 3:36 pm
Laurie, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2022 at 3:36 pm

I, too, am proud of the young organizers and participants in the walkout. After all, these young people have a huge stake in this issue. Since 2020, firearms are the Number One cause of death for American children and teens. School shootings, or any public shootings for that matter, terrorize students, teachers, support staff and parents alike. This is not acceptable. 90% of Americans support background checks and Red Flag laws. Ten Senators are holding the entire country hostage from the steps necessary to protect our children. The Senate needs to hear us loud and clear. I am so glad that our students have joined in the demands for change. We won't quit until we turn this around.


MichaelB
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:41 am
MichaelB, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:41 am

"I, too, am proud of the young organizers and participants in the walkout. After all, these young people have a huge stake in this issue. Since 2020, firearms are the Number One cause of death for American children and teens."

Speaking of having a stake, how many of these "children" and "teens" were engaged in criminal and/or illegal activity involving firearms that led to deaths? Does this matter or is this yet another attempt to blame guns for irresponsible behavior/poor decision making?


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