Students gather to remember Parkland


The student leaders who organized the walkouts pose for a picture with the victims of Parkland. The walkout was held March 14th at 10 to memorialize the deaths of the students and staff.

Ava Mowery, Reporter

On Wednesday, March 14, at 10, around 80 students at the high school participated in a memorial walkout for the victims at Stoneman Douglas High School that started in the gymnasium for 17 minutes and concluded outside for another 2 minute moment of silence by the flagpole. Participants met in the gym and formed a circle, shoulder to shoulder. Student organizers stood in a line and held posters with headshots of the victims and read their name, age, and a short sentence describing the person. The students spent 17 minutes in the gym for the 17 victims of the shooting. “I think it went really good actually. A good amount of people showed up,” said Amelia Ingraham, junior. “It was really respectful, and everyone there was there for the right reasons.” She said that nobody made it political and politics were not mentioned at all. “The purpose of the walkout remained solely a memorial.” said Ingraham.

After the clock hit 10:18, an announcement was made that students were dismissed back to class or could come outside for an optional walkout and moment of silence. Most students exited the building and gathered for another silent 2 minutes. Police officers secured the perimeter and administrators kept a watchful eye on the students. Safety was a main concern for administrators and for student leaders. “One of the reasons we had the 17 minute memorial inside the gym was so more students would feel safe to come down. Some students were nervous about being outside for a long period of time.” said Demi Smith, senior and student organizer.

“I think it was a great idea.” said Nick Thomas, junior. “I don’t think it should have been called a walkout. I think it would have been better if it would have been called a memorial. I probably would have come to it if it had been called that. Also, I think there wouldn’t have been an uproar from the community if it was in flex or after school.”

The student leaders who planned this walkout were especially thrilled with the participation from the student body. “I think it went very well. Every student in attendance was respectful and they were there for their own reason which made it even more powerful. I was proud of every student in that room – it is not always easy to go against backlash from people around you.” said Smith.

At the school board meeting on Monday 19, concerned students and parents voiced their opinion about the student-led walkout. Students and parents were concerned about the way administration handled the event. Also, some students said that their peers were being bullied on social media platforms for not participating in the walkout. Rebecca Fickel, a junior, attended the board meeting. “I am really glad that there was time for students and community members to voice their opinions and concerns to the school board members who are the backbone of our school district. It brought all of the issues people had to light and gave them the opportunity to actually have their voices heard. In my opinion, the board meeting was extremely beneficial for the community and served as a way for the community to gain information.” said Fickel. She said that a large number of community members were there as well as around 10 students.

For live footage of the walkout, please check out our YouTube channel.