In solidarity with students all cross the country, March 14, 2018 both CCHS and CCMS students gathered at Chabola Field to protest against the lethal gun violence that has become a tragic and regular factor in American life. It was only one hour, but the impact of the event may linger for a very long time.
Parents who came to participate were given space in the library to make signs, and orange was the color of the day. The school created t-shirts, and all adult volunteers were emblazoned with the #ENOUGH and the locked double C that signifies Culver City.
The students arrived at the field led by a drumline, and carried signs while chanting “Enough is enough! No more deaths!” Hundreds and hundreds of students arrived on the field, slowly filling the space with energy and anger.
Carolyn Dodenhoff and Cecilia Ribordy were the two Culver High students that organized the event, and most of the students from both high school and middle school attended. CCHS Principal Dr. Lisa Cooper estimated that 7 out of 10 students chose to participate, with the cafeteria open for those who chose not to attend. No one was left in the classrooms – a safety precaution.
Many of the adults there were parents of students, but the city council candidates were in attendance as well. Asked for his thoughts, Alex Fisch noted “I am proud of our CCUSD students, and our amazing school district for fully supporting them. By fostering a culture of advocacy, these students are increasing district-wide civic engagement, critical thinking, and commitment to the community; all essential pieces of a well-rounded education.”
Both Albert Vera and Marcus Tiggs were present as well, and engaged many parents in conversations about the rally and the student activism.
Six students gave speeches, and pictures of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting were displayed. There were also booths organized for early voter registration, and distribution of ribbons to wear as a symbol of the protest.
CCHS Assistant Principal Kelli Tarvyd was mentioned by many of the students as a key player in organizing the event, and both Superintendent Leslie Lockhart and School Board member Kathy Paspalis were in attendance to show their commitment to the cause.
After the moment of silence and the 17 drumbeats to commemorate the victims of Parkland, after the speeches and the cheering, the students returned to their classes seeming both satisfied and subdued. Ending the threat of gun violence in schools is a challenge they realize may take a very long time.