Ames School District students participate in nationwide walkout

Students and citizens of ames walk-out in protest of gun violence in schools. Students are asking voters and representatives to be the change. 

Jill Alt

Roughly 200 Ames Community School District students and residents of the Ames area gathered at Brookside Park following the Ames school walkout at 10 a.m. Friday. 

The walkout was entirely student-run by leaders in various clubs at Ames High School. The event was planned by Ames High School senior Thomas Delay. Delay spoke in front of his peers about gun violence in school along with other speakers.

“We need to keep objects made for killing out of the hands of those who wish to kill,” Delay said. 

The walkout leaders read the names of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting aloud, followed by moments of silence, as this was one of the most recent school shootings.


Students gathered today because nationally April 20 has been recognized as a walkout day to honor the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. Since Columbine, gun laws have become less restrictive, and since the expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, there has been a 200 percent increase in gun violence in America. 

Moms Demand Action came to the event at Brookside, with cookies in tow for the students who were protesting. 

Also provided at the event was a table where students who are 18 or turning 18 could register to vote. 

Oscar Rodriguez, senior at Ames High School, said those who are too young to vote can still have an effect on legislation by making their voices heard.

“As students we are especially susceptible to legislation. We’re not voters so it hurts us the most,” Rodriguez said. “Just because we can’t vote, doesn’t mean our voices don’t matter.”

Walking with Rodriguez was Olivia Galyon, senior at Ames High School, who talked about the personal impact gun violence in school has had on her. 

“This is important to me because I don’t feel safe in my school,” Galyon said. “I wonder, ‘is this going to happen in my school?’ And it gives me nightmares”

Tyson Chambers, sophomore at Ames High School, also said gun violence is incredibly important not just in schools but other situations as well. He said he feels this topic is personal to him, due to the loss of his uncle Drew Drown who was shot.

“I lost my uncle in a gun shooting and he was an innocent man,” Chambers said. “I feel like he was a true hero, and it shouldn’t have happened.” 

Natalie DeRadcliffe, senior at Ames High School, said she walks for her future children in hopes of a safer future for them. 

“I think about the next generation, and if I were to have kids,” DeRadcliffe said. “Do I want it to be easier or harder for them to get guns or to go to college and have a future like me?”

Ames NAACP President Edna Clinton spoke in front of those who gathered, encouraging them to register to vote, and for the children gathered who could not, she said this:

“If you can’t vote — write letters and emails until they have to hire more people just to read them.”

DeLay wanted to thank Officer Jason Tuttle and the Ames Police Department for helping to arrange a barricade so students could march across 13th Street and for their assistance.

He also wanted to thank school administration for their flexibility with the event. The Ames Community School District did not “sign off” on the event in any way.

Lastly, he wanted to thank all of the students and citizens who came to support their cause today.