Student walkout, a collapsed bridge and the Russian election


The Allenton bridge is rated only two percent sufficient. If passed, Prop E will replace the bridge.


Know: Students from at least two dozen schools throughout the St. Louis area participated in a national day of protest, March 14.

Inform: The walkouts came exactly one month after a gunman killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School, Feb. 14. Student organizers planned the national school walkout, March 14. Students either walked out of school or held assemblies at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes, one minute to honor each victim of the massacre. The following are those killed in the Stoneman Douglas High School Massacre:

  • Alyssa Alhadeff, 14
  • Scott Beigel, 35
  • Martin Duque Anguiano, 14
  • Nicholas Dworet, 17
  • Aaron Feis, 37
  • Jaime Guttenberg, 14
  • Chris Hixon, 49
  • Luke Hoyer, 15
  • Cara Loughran, 14
  • Gina Montalto, 14
  • Joaquin Oliver, 17
  • Alaina Petty, 14
  • Meadow Pollack, 18
  • Helena Ramsay, 17
  • Alex Schachter, 14
  • Carmen Schentrup, 16
  • Peter Wang, 15

Students across the U.S. and around the world planned more than 3,000 walkouts. Hazelwood West High School students gathered outside onto the football field for a ceremony consisting of short biographies along with a moment of silence for each of the victims while holding posters of their pictures and names. At Washington University’s School of Medicine, about 100 students laid on the main lobby floor for 17 minutes dressed in scrubs and white coats to convince the federal government to fund research in gun violence. All 328 students from Cardinal Ritter College Prep School marched from their school to St. Francis Xavier College Church. Over 100 students at Clayton High School gathered in front of the school under the American flag reading speeches and poetry. The ceremony continued through lunch, where students registered to vote and encouraged each other to write letters to U.S. Senator Roy Blunt urging for gun control.

Care:  Students walked out as a way to emphasize their voices in the matter and contribute to the debate despite the possible penalties. While some school districts supported students, administrators stressed that they don’t endorse events and that student participation was voluntary. Hazelwood West principal Dennis Newell referred to the gathering as an observance instead of a walkout because he believed that walkouts were viewed negatively. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there has been 50 mass murders or attempted mass murders at schools since the Columbine High School Massacre of 1999, causing an increase of violence in schools. As lawmakers debate whether or not to arm teachers and Florida raised the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21, changes that are being made in response to gun violence in schools will affect each school across the U.S. Advocates internationally will take to the streets for the March For Our Lives to end gun violence, March 24. As the students engage in the hot political debate, they strive to make a change for students like themselves and their safety within schools. They are also learning how to appropriately act and make a difference in their world. 


Know: A pedestrian bridge collapsed and killed six, March 15.

Inform: The 950-ton pedestrian bridge located near Florida International University collapsed, March 15. Construction had not been finished on the bridge and FIU planned on opening the bridge in 2019. The walkway was built to connect the FIU to Sweetwater, a nearby city and home to students. Crews installed the bridge within hours only five days prior to the collapse, but construction had not been completed. The $11.4 million bridge had a durability of more than 100 years and supposedly could have withstood a Category 5 hurricane. An engineer called the Florida Department of Transportation to note cracking that had been observed on the bridge two days before the bridge collapsed. Six died as a result of the collapse and 10 were injured.

Care: Bridge safety is near and dear to the Eureka community. With the Allenton bridge having a sufficiency rating of two percent, safety is a primary concern for the residents who pass over the bridge daily. Prop E, a half-cent sales tax increase on the ballot, April 3, would demolish the Allenton bridge and generate funds for a new bridge.


Know: Vladimir Putin won Russia’s Presidential election, March 18.

Inform: Putin’s recent win will continue to retain his power as President of Russia until 2024. This will be Putin’s fourth term in office where he will remain until he is 71 and will then be required to step down. Although Russia does have a term-limit after two consecutive terms, Putin was able to escape this fate. Putin’s win came expectantly, with him winning the election with nearly 80 percent of the votes. Russian election monitoring organization Golos observed several irregularities throughout election day such as security cameras in polling places being “coincidentally” blocked and ballots being found in ballot boxes before the polls opened. Putin’s win makes him the longest reigning leader of Russia since dictator Joseph Stalin.

Care: Russia’s current government is considered a semi-presidential republic, meaning that the President shares power with a prime minister and cabinet. While Russia does have elections, the winner is typically expected in advance and polls may come across as unprofessional. Still, Russia comes across as a manipulated government trying to escape the communist title. Russia has also extended their control into other countries, including the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Russian government is believed to have disadvantaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign, hacked into both major political parties’ computer systems and used social media to persuade voters.