"I'm concerned with all of these kids walking out", high school parent Heather Conkright said. While the school district recognizes this as "an opportunity for young people to exhibit civil responsibility", it notes that schools must comply with policies and regulations. "The district respects the rights of all students, whether they choose to participate or not".
Participation in the approved demonstrations is optional, but any students who participate in non-sanctioned demonstrations will be punished, Carstarphen wrote on her blog. The event was originally planned for 10 a.m. during school hours, but the organizers changed that to allow more participation from teachers, community members and students from other schools. "I'm thankful I got a chance just to talk to them and tell them my appreciation and also to let them know we will continue to use our voice, continue to shine the light on what they're talking about and what they're going through and what they're dealing with".
"It really made me realize the power we have, as students, and the ways that we can change a community", Vaughan said.
The Parkland shooting, which took place now three weeks ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was just one of hundreds of school shootings the USA has seen in recent years. And by 'we, ' I mean any student or teacher, whether they are a first-grader, a high school junior or an eighth-grader like me.
Kelly Barth plans to attend the walkout at LHS that morning as part of "Wrap the Walkout", a local initiative calling on adults to "wrap" themselves around the school in a symbolic show of support and protection. "We want to minimize the time students will be out of the classroom, and get them back in the classroom", he said. They need to make sure no one risky can ever get their hands on a weapon like this again, and they need to take necessary action to protect the children in all our schools and beyond.
After the walkout, the students are planning a "Conversation on Student Activism" in the library. "We want to create not just safer schools but a safer America", she said. She said dozens of students seem committed to participating.
"Some students at last week's Somerville protest carried handmade signs with messages such as "#Never Again", "We Call BS", and "Protect Children Not Guns".
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