Never Again performance continues the fight for gun control

Even after hosting two walkouts against school shootings in support of the Never Again movement, students were not done. Kylie Vincent, senior, still wanted to advocate for the cause in a positive manner. She was inspired to put on a performance containing a variety of artists on May 21 pertaining to the Never Again movement. All the proceeds went to March for Our Lives.

“I didn’t want all the events to be politically parted and to have a political agenda,” Vincent said. “The best (way) I know how to bring people together is through art.”

She went to administration to approve and plan out the performance soon after the second walkout. They allowed the event to occur and did not censor the content in the acts, despite it promoting the importance of gun control.

“(Administration) was actually pretty great about it,” Vincent said. “I think there is a common misconception that admin is not on board for a lot of things, but I think it (is) more of the school district and their policies implemented beforehand.”

The event had many different types of performers such as poets, singers, dancers and actors. In particular, Frank Gress, senior, and Allison Martinez, junior, participated in the show with a play and song respectively. Both had participated in the walkouts prior and had heard out about the Never Again performance through Vincent.

“I’ve been stuck in a cycle of being heartbroken by recent shootings and responding by offering condolences through prayers and words while knowing well enough that it’s not enough,” Martinez said. “With March for Our Lives, Kylie gave us an opportunity to actually take action even if it was as simple as singing a song.”

Gress’ play which he co-wrote with Rory Smith, senior, tried to express the tragedy experienced by families who had learned their children had experienced the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year. Martinez sang “We Are The World” by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie while Maya Galipeau, sophomore, performed a solo dance.

“I think… people felt moved and were grateful that Kylie put together an event like this, so I felt like I spurred a conversation,” Gress said.

Vincent hoped that through this the audience would be inspired to make a difference in a more relaxed and less politically charged atmosphere. Despite the event being planned on a short timeline and limited advertising done, it garnered a large audience.

“I expected all my close friends, but the word got out, and I saw people I didn’t expect there which was great,” Vincent said.

In the future, all three plan to continue their activism, even despite some going to college. Gress stresses the importance of continuing the movement, even when, he claims, it may seem hopeless to some.

“I don’t like that sentiment because everything we do does count, and people do see it and get them to talk so it does something,” Gress said. “Anyway I can feel like I am helping out the cause, I am willing to take the opportunity.”

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