BREAKING NEWS: Students walk out to protest school violence

A student holds a sign in remembrance of the Parkland victims.

Hannah Kopek, Staff Writer

Roughly 350 students staged a walkout today at 10 a.m. to raise awareness and vocalize their feelings about school safety and gun control.

They walked out of the school for 17 minutes to commemorate each of the lives lost in the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Every minute during the walkout, a name of a victim was read, and a balloon released in their memory.

“I am walking out in solidarity with other students and the victims of school shootings,” Madelynn Battles, sophomore, said.

Students all have different reasons for walking out: to stand in solidarity with the victims of school shootings, to catch the eye of adults and those with political power, to protest aspects of the right to bear arms, and/or to inspire action by law makers to reduce gun violence.

“I don’t like kids being able to kill other kids with assault weapons,” Jake Sencial, sophomore, said.

There have already been at least 14 school shootings in the US in 2018, according to CNN. That averages out to 1.5 shootings a week, but only Parkland received national attention.

“School should not be a place where there’s fear of getting shot every day,” Claire Culbreth, junior, said.

Principal Dave Stephens was impressed with the respect shown by the student demonstrators.

“I am so proud of everybody doing such a great job today,” Stephens said.

Participants in the walk out can choose to either serve a one hour detention or attend a one hour forum with State Representative Mark Batinick after school today.

“I hope older people can see that younger people’s opinions can be valid in a political setting,” Sencial said.

Students who participated in the walkout were also encouraged to register to vote to further get their voices heard.

According to Stephens, roughly 350 students did attend the forum with Batinick after school, although that number did include some students who did not participate in the walkout.