Urbandale Unplugged

The Student News Site of Urbandale High School

Urbandale Unplugged

Urbandale Unplugged

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The Perry High School Shooting

While at school, the last thing a student should expect to be asked to do is to lock the doors and hide themselves, but many kids in America have to face that terrifying thought as a reality all the time. Even if they never experience a situation like that, they’ll probably go through drills for it. Just because it isn’t real in the moment doesn’t change the frightening truth of what students are practicing for.

Just this year, there have been at least 38 incidents of gun violence at schools in the US, leaving several people injured and some even dead. As many people know, Perry High School was involved in an active shooter situation on January 4th. Because of its close proximity to Urbandale, this hit home for many students, whether they knew someone from the school or not. Urbandale police were called to the scene, some of whom were family or friends of students. Even though it didn’t happen at Urbandale, the severity of the situation became more real for many people in the community that day.

It was Perry’s first day back from Winter break when a shooter opened fire before the school day had a chance to begin. In the end several students were injured and Perry Middle School student Ahmir Jolliff and high school principal Dan Marburger were killed. Ahmir was eleven years old when he was shot while eating breakfast in the high school and was confirmed dead later that day. Dan Marburger was first one of the injured, but on January 14th, just ten days later, he passed due to his injuries.

(Junior Echo Faine speaks in front of everyone at the Urbandale Walk-Out. Photo by Miley Seliquini)

In response to the shooting, Urbandale students organized a walk-out along with many other schools in the state. For Urbandale, they met at Lion’s Park holding signs and posters protesting the lack of gun legislation in the state. Students stood in the cold and spoke on a megaphone about the changes they wanted to see from their government, while news channels watched from the sidelines.

Though the protest only lasted about thirty minutes, some Urbandale students carpooled to the Capitol building later that day. They joined hundreds of other teens from around the state in protest of new gun laws, led by March For Our Lives Iowa. 

(Junior Thomas Reece with the Capitol in the background, moments before walking into the Capitol with his classmates. Photo by Miley Seliquini)

Holding signs with sayings such as “We stand with Perry” and “Never Again” students listened to speakers and chanted sayings like “No more silence, end gun violence!”. But even in the midst of the protests, the chants, and the speeches, there was a moment of silence held by all for Ahmir Jolliff and his family.

Urbandale students hope that nothing like this ever happens again, but they are prepared in case it does. Though the Perry shooting was more than a month ago, no one should forget the impact it left on the community and the surrounding communities, and most importantly not forget the lives lost due to this act of violence. All they can do is continue to protest for better legislation and with time, maybe see change for the better. 

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About the Contributor
Miley Seliquini
Miley Seliquini is a junior at Urbandale High School. She’s a part of the band and choir programs at her school, as well as being heavily involved in theater. Miley enjoys writing and playing the tuba in her free time, and above all loves spending time with her friends.
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    Julie MartinFeb 24, 2024 at 4:50 pm

    this was very hard to read as I know I would be hard to get through this situation. this news article has lead me to a new path of helping others, and I just want to thank you for making me more aware