School News

One Month Later: Reflecting on the School Walkout

By Daniel Avicolli

A walkout was held by the student body of Garnet Valley High School on March 14th at 10 o’clock. The students gathered a total of 232 backpacks to represent the 232 lives lost over the 19 years since the Columbine Shooting and set them in the shape of a heart on the football field where the students later met.

When the time of 10 o’clock came students walked outside to the track and football field where they stood in silence for 17, one minute for each live lost in Parkland. As students went outside they received orange ribbons that represent the opposition of gun violence and a flower that they could lay down on a backpack for a victim.

In the center of the heart stood a new tree, the pictures of the Parkland victims hanging on it, which after the event was planted on the school grounds in memory of the victims.

The demonstration is just like all others across the country, but the main concerns that have been heard are about losing class time during the walkout and the overall safety of the students participating.

Although some students were worried about their safety and losing class time, others felt differently. “I believe [losing class time] is irrelevant because there’s some people that have lost their lives” said student Jordan Schuch.

When it came to the safety aspect, student Arzu Dugmeoglu said “Police and staff will be there, and it would be morally wrong for something to happen.”

Arzu also shared her thoughts on the event and whether or not more could be done. “I think it’s great” she said. “It’s a great statement to makes that shows we stand with those involved and those who plan to make change. I don’t think anything done will be enough until it’s over.”

While students were allowed to participate, staff on the other hand were not as means to remain apolitical when it came to the subject. English teacher Ms. Stephan shared her thoughts on the subject.

When it came to the subject of losing class time she said “Education does not only happen in the classroom, and this demonstration is a small percentage of class time that they can equally learn from.” She also said that as much as she wished she could participate, she believes that it was right that staff couldn’t be involved. “I believe teachers should not be political in the classroom,” Stephan said.

Across the country there are some schools who are punishing those who decided to participate in the walkout. When I brought this up, Stephan had some thoughts on it.

“I would not influence them to go out or stay in but rather let then do as they pleased. It is a great way to show their own independence.”

Although there were many school shootings before the one in Parkland, the most recent has been a tipping point for change. This school walkout and the others across the country are a result of the tragedy in Parkland and are sure not the last that we’ll be seeing in this series of events.

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