West Side Story

Students hold ‘die-in’ to protest gun violence

Organizers held the die-in to coincide with nationwide student protests on National Walkout Day for the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School.

Maddi Shinall, Photographer

Despite ICCSD students not having school on Friday, April 20, it didn’t prevent them from participating in the National Walkout Day protests through holding a die-in.

Protesters met in front of Van Allen Hall and marched to T. Anne Cleary Walkway, where they staged the die-in. They laid on the ground silently for six minutes and 20 seconds, the amount of time that the Parkland shooter opened fire on the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The die-in was organized by student group Students Against School Shootings (SASS) to be a part of the nationwide student protests on Friday for the National School Walkout. In addition to the Iowa City protest, SASS also held a die-in outside of Brownells fire arm store in Grinnell, Iowa, which is owned by the NRA’s president, Pete Brownell.

Across the country, students walked out of their schools on Friday to call for gun control legislation. The nationwide protests were held on April 20 because the day marks the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. 

Organizers chose Van Allen Hall and T. Anne Cleary Walkway to be the two sites of the protest because of the locations’ connections to a shooting that occurred at the University of Iowa in 1991.

On Nov. 1, 1991, a student walked into Van Allen Hall and shot three professors and a student. He then went to Jessup Hall and shot another student and then the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, T. Anne Cleary, in her office before shooting himself.

After the 1991 University of Iowa shooting, the walkway was named to honor Cleary. 

Before the protest in Iowa City, SASS member Mira Bohannan ’20 from City High explained why the students had organized the die-in.

“What we’re looking to do here,” Bohannan said, “is remember those victims, remember Columbine and protest for better gun legislation in our country.”

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About the Writer
Maddi Shinall, Photo Editor

Maddi is a senior, this is her second year on staff and she is the Photo Editor. If she's not taking photos, she is probably engaging in a lively political...

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Students hold ‘die-in’ to protest gun violence