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HHS students prepare for March 14 walkout

March 13, 2018

One month after the devastating shooting of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., survivors and supporters will demonstrate how their grief has sparked into activism.

At 10:00 a.m. on March 14, students across the country will walk out of their classrooms in an act of solidarity.

The idea originated with EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March organization. They are the main voices behind this demonstration and are wanting it to not only honor the 17 lives that were lost, but also serve as a political pressure for gun reform.

The organization reported that more than 2,500 schools are planning to participate in the walkout. Among them are HHS and North Junior High. HHS Responds and other interested students are helping organize the event for the two schools.

“The administration has been very helpful,” said Ben Herstig, senior. “They are by no means sponsoring this event, since that is not allowed, but they are making it easier for us to make our voices heard.”

Every student has their own personal reasons for participating in the walk out. For some, it is to establish a demand for change.

For too long this has really just been a conversation and now it needs to become a demonstration,” said Alex Mundahl, junior. “Hopefully as long as we are doing things like this and we just do not stop, they will acquiesce.”

For others, it is a chance to take action when they believe others have not.

“I have had enough of funerals and vigils and promises and no change. It seems like our lawmakers have proven themselves to be either unwilling or unable to enact any sort of meaningful reform,” said Ian Feagler, senior. “That means that change falls to the next generation. Our generation.”

Some students are seeing this as an opportunity to represent their generation well and disprove any notion of apathy of lack of drive.

“Proving that we have opinions and that we are eloquent beings means a lot to me, said Shannon Maroney, senior. “Representing something that you stand for is something that students are capable of and this walk out is a true example of that.”

The safety of the people coming through our schools after us are the motivation for some students.

“I think it’s really important that we show others how important this issue is to us and that school shootings are not okay,” said Ashline Daniels, senior. “It’s not just for us, it is for the future generations.”

No matter the specific reason for participating, HHS students are hoping to bring about meaningful change and with it, renew a sense of safety throughout all schools.

I want the world to listen to us, especially the governments around us. I want them to not only listen, but to take action to keep our children safe. I’m fighting for my life here, with thousands of other high schoolers, and our voices have been drowned out for too long,” Herstig said.

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