Students Walk Out to Protest Gun Violence

Last Friday at Northwood School, 29 students and 10 teachers walked out of class at 10:00 am to protest gun violence, especially school shootings. Students in over 2,000 schools around the country came together to walk out of classes and mark the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine school shooting, which is considered the beginning of the modern era of school shootings.

WalkOut

Seniors Hannah Kessel (left) and Olivia Skriloff face the assembled students and faculty at the walkout on April 20, 2018. (Photo: Sam DiBitetto ’18)

The walkout at Northwood began at 10:00 am, five minutes into C period classes. Students and teachers gathered in the indoor tennis courts at 10:00 am where they heard a few people speak and observed a moment of silence. Seventeen minutes later, at 10:17 am, they went back to class. The demonstration last seventeen minutes in memory of the seventeen people killed at the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14.

The walkout was led by seniors Hannah Kessel and Olivia Skriloff, and they both spoke at the tennis courts. Kessel read the mission of the national walkout:

National School Walkout is a movement powered and led by students across the country. We’re protesting congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence. America is the only country in the world where so many people are killed by guns, and yet our leaders do nothing about it. In many states, it’s more difficult to register to vote than it is to buy a rifle. Apparently to some politicians, a vote is scarier than a gun.

Skriloff read the names of the people killed in the Parkland and Columbine shootings. Skriloff also urged everyone in attendance to call their elected officials and urge them to enact sensible gun reform legislation. Click here to contact your legislators.

Every student who walked out seemed genuinely concerned about gun violence and moved by the event. “I think If we all came together we could put an end to gun violence,” said junior Barrett Ott.

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