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Students Walk Out

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Students Walk Out

Students gather outside of school for the walkout.

Students gather outside of school for the walkout.

Kat Richardson

Students gather outside of school for the walkout.

Kat Richardson

Kat Richardson

Students gather outside of school for the walkout.

Kat Richardson, Web Editor of Content

On Friday morning, right at 10 a.m., over 100 East students left their classrooms and walked out of the school building, meeting at the flagpole right outside of the main office doors. Their purpose was not simply to skip class, but to remember and honor the lives of students that have been lost to gun violence.

A statement released by the organizers states: “None of us were alive when the Columbine shooting happened. However, all of us that are gathered today are deeply saddened by these senseless deaths at Columbine, Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas, and so many more high schools similar to our own. This morning is an opportunity for us to stand up as citizens of its country as one body and say it’s time to protect each other. We are not here for gun reform of any kind, we are simply here to say that we remember the lives lost and we don’t want to lose anymore. Enough is enough.”

The walkout, which took place nationwide on the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, was organized and headed up by two juniors, Maia Campbell and Cam Kelly, who said they were inspired to use their voices to speak up for the victims of mass shootings, specifically after the recent school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, that resulted in the deaths of 17 students and faculty members.

Kelly specifically noted a mod-long discussion she had in her English class after the shooting in Parkland when her teacher, Ms. Kannianen, decided that it was necessary to allow her students to discuss what was going on in the country.

“We knew that we needed to stand up for the voice that kids deserved to have because we do have a voice and it does need to be heard,” Kelly said.

For Campbell, the walkout offered an opportunity for her to become involved in the political process and to also use her voice.

“Well I can’t vote so this is kind of a way for me to make a change and use my voice in a way that is different than I think most adults can do, it’s an easy way for me to empower others and also honor those that were killed,” Campbell said.

The walkout began with a brief explanation of why students were choosing to take this action, followed by a reading of the names of both the Columbine and Parkland victims and then a moment of silence for the remainder of the 17-minute walkout.  

“The silence was the most powerful thing ever, it just really gave way to the agony that people have felt from losing their child or their best friend. Every minute here was for when a student died and they cannot go back to class like we are about to, they don’t have that opportunity anymore,” Kelly said.

The overall focus of honoring those who have lost their lives also seemed to be held by student participants, including junior Kyron Colis who decided to walk out to support the students who lost their lives, stating that this walkout did have an impact, not only on the community but also on the world.

Both Campbell and Kelly are encouraged by the amount of students who attended the walkout and look forward to the change their fellow teens can have in the world in the future.

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Students Walk Out”

  1. Kim Wilson-Bickers on April 20th, 2018 3:10 pm

    I feel that is very meaningful that the students remembered the victims of the columbine shooting. I’m going to assume now that regardless of the topic students will always be allowed to request and participate in these types of events? I am hoping that we will continue to see more of this for other types of memorials such as for students that support the right to life movement and the memory of all the deaths due to abortion.

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