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Students participate in nationwide school walkout after Florida school shooting

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Students hold up signs honoring  victims of the Marjoy Stoneman Douglas High School

Students hold up signs honoring victims of the Marjoy Stoneman Douglas High School

Devyn Aguilera

Devyn Aguilera

Students hold up signs honoring victims of the Marjoy Stoneman Douglas High School

Crusader Staff

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Students walk out of the building on Wednesday, March 14

After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students dead, the youth branch of the Women’s March organized national walk-outs across the country. These demonstrations received various levels of acceptance across the country with many schools allowing their students to walk out.

After working with the student council, Monroe-Woodbury administrators came to an agreement to allow a walkout to take place.

“While the school district does not endorse this type of event, we value the ongoing, open communication with our students,” read an email sent to parents prior to the walkout. “This genuine, honest exchange is the framework on which our school culture is built.”

Student Sabrina Velez attended, and said that she was hopeful the walkout would send a positive message.

“I wanted to make a change,” said Velez. “I feel like change can only happen through action.”

Elizabeth Giacomazza said she thought it went well.

“I was actually really proud of the school because I didn’t think that many people would do it, but I think people took it pretty seriously,” said Giacomazza.

Student Joanna Sass agreed.

“I think it’s important to let students know they’re being heard and give them a chance to express their opinions especially on such important topics, and I’m really proud that our administrators allowed us to go out and voice our opinions,” said Sass.

Many students saw the walk out as a time to honor the memory of the students slain last month. Freshman Hannah Eavens was one of these students.

“It’s showing respect for the loved one’s families who have unfortunately lost people to a horrible thing,” said Eavens.

“The reason I did the walkout is because I wanted to honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas High School,” said Javin Amaro, who added that he was disappointed with some of his peers.

“I was kind of disappointed because it was pretty loud and half of the people didn’t know why we did it,” said Amaro.

Amaro was not alone.

“I thought that some people weren’t taking it seriously,” said Kayla Felix.

Not all students were hopeful that the walkout would be beneficial.

“Walking out didn’t change anything,” said Victor Bradford. “Guns don’t hurt people, people hurt people so it doesn’t matter what we do.”

Despite disagreement about the walkout, its purpose and its results, everything progressed smoothly.

“It seemed peaceful, orderly, and the noise level wasn’t any different as it was any other day,” said one security guard.

The students who walked out were supervised by teachers, administrators, security staff, and police officers with German Shepherds.

Many students made signs and encouraged students to write positive messages on bright, colorful Post-it notes to be shared around the main lobby.

Students who helped organized the walk-out were also seen holding posters which read the names of the students killed at the Parkland shooting.

Sophomore Annabelle Praud wrote a speech that she intended to give at the event. She was never able to speak in public due to the lack of structure at the event. Praud did, however, summarize her ideas.

“People shouldn’t be afraid to come to school,” said Praud. “We need to stand in unity. We have a voice that deserves to be heard.”

 

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Students participate in nationwide school walkout after Florida school shooting