Courtesy - Athens Messenger
 Masa Al-Azm, a junior at AHS, attended the walkout on Friday

Athens High Students Join National Walkout

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About 80 Athens High School students walked out of class Friday to remember the lives lost on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Photo by Diamond Jeune
Athens High School students gather on the football field during Friday’s walkout promoting gun restrictions

Memorial Demonstration

The demonstration, held at the high school football stadium, also recognized the February 14th shooting at Majory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left seventeen people dead, along with the  2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

School-Shooting Statistics

So far this year there have been 20 school shootings resulting in injury or death – an average of 1.25 shootings per week.

Despite the number of school shootings this year, they have dramatically declined since the 1990’s, according to

School Shootings vs. Other Child Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more children die from unintentional causes – such as drowning or bicycle accidents – than in school shootings. Over the past 25 years, around 10 students per year were killed by gunfire at school. To put that into perspective, in the fall of 2017, around 56 million students attended public and private elementary and secondary schools.

In 2016, the Population Reference Bureau found that more adolescents die by suicide than homicide.  According to the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, seven children die each day from gun violence. While a majority of those are killed in homicides, 38 percent of those deaths are a result of suicide.


Photo by Diamond Jeune
School bus blocks students from the entrance to Athens High School on Friday.


Ohio School Shootings

Of these national shootings this year, only one made headlines in Ohio.  It involved a seventh grader who planned a school shooting, but instead accidentally shot and killed himself.

In recent years several school shootings in Ohio have impacted the state:

  • West Liberty Heights (January 20,2017)– the alleged gunman Ely Serna brought a shotgun to school and fired shots. A 17-year-old student Logan Cole was shot twice in the chest and survived.
  • Linden-McKinley STEM Academy (October 13, 2016) – Two Linden-Mckinley students were shot. One was struck in the chest while the other was treated with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Two teenagers were charged.
  • Madison Junior/Senior High (February 29, 2016) – James Austin Hancock, a 14-year-old, was convicted and sentenced to six years in juvenile detention for shooting fellow students at Madison Junior/Senior High. All the victims survived.
  •  Chardon High School (February 27, 2012) – T.J. Lane, who was 17 at the time, was convicted of killing three students and injured three others. Prosecutors said he took a .22 caliber pistol and knife to school and fired 10 shots at a group of students in the cafeteria. Lane was given three lifetime prison sentences without the possibility of parole.
  • SuccessTech Academy (October 10, 2007) – A suspended student, Asa Coon, who was 14 at the time of the incident, was accused of opening fire at SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland. Two teachers, and two students were injured before Coon turned the gun on himself.

Masa Al-Azm, a junior at AHS who attended the event, said people should remember that each of the statistics about school shootings represents a person.