Middle school students hold walkout in response to Parkland shooting

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, virtually all of the demonstrations were "grassroots" efforts and student-run. But, for 17 minutes, Stephen Decatur High School students sat in silence outside their classrooms, as they remembered the 17 victims.

Drake said almost one-third of the school's students participated in the event.

Marking one month since the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, these students joined the nationwide protest that lasted roughly 17 minutes for the 17 lives lost. They actually went against gun violence, not the right to own guns.

"We had two points that we wanted to express", Wilson said.

Bibb County students who participated will face detention or more severe punishment if they were disruptive.

Fitzgibbons said that "the vast majority of the high school" and much of the middle school had participated in the nonpartisan event.

"I have challenged them to make walking up to people a pattern and continue it throughout the rest of the year, not just today", Edkins said. "It presents, paradoxically, a threat to student safety, as word of the walkout has been widely disseminated and students who go outside could become more vulnerable".

Student organizer Dana Heiter said she and others who took part in the walkout got push back from classmates who disagreed with their stance on stricter gun control laws.

They also launched a letter writing campaign directed at IN congressional representatives asking for improved school safety.

She knew it was a lot, but every student immediately agreed and they spent hours writing, cutting out and filling bins with thousands of hearts with messages of support.

WBOC reports that police and teachers were on hand but that the walkout was supervised by the students.

"We had maybe around 75 to 80 kids participate", Drake said.

The national initiative, which called for federal gun reform legislation to make schools safer, was organized by the Women's March Youth Empower activist group.

On Monday, the Pennridge school board approved a voluntary remembrance ceremony to be held inside the school at the same time as the planned protest Wednesday morning. Many people are praising the students for their activism and response to the tragedy.

The Harford County public school superintendent also forbade students from leaving claiming safety concerns.

  • Leroy Wright