National School Walkout Day


HMSA students and staff gathered on the blacktop for the memoriam.

Angel Emodi, Staff Writer

On February 14, a gunman took 17 lives at Parkland High School in Florida. The shooting sparked a political fire in students who believe enough is enough. These motivated students planned the National School Walkout Day as a way to protest.

On March 14, the Women’s March Network sponsored the National School Walkout Day to advocate for gun control and/or to honor the lives of those lost in the disastrous shooting at Parkland High School. At 10 am, students and school faculty walked out of class for 17 minutes to honor those lost and bring attention to the gun control issue. Fox News stated that those who participated in the Walkout were encouraged to wear orange to show support for gun control. They also stated that more than 185,00 students participated in the event. In fact, the Walkout became international. Schools in Mexico, Israel, and Ireland participated in the Walkout as well.

Women’s March Youth Empower, who coordinated the Walkout, stated that “Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.”

As of March 8, there have been 14 school shootings in 2018 and students are tired of it. Naomi Giancola, a student at Midwood High School in Florida, says that “It’s important for everyone to realize that although it is about guns and politics, it’s more to commemorate the lives lost. At this point … all we want to do is honor these people’s lives.”

In order to remain neutral, Yale stated that “Yale will NOT be rescinding anyone’s admission decision for participating in peaceful walkouts for this or other causes, regardless of any high school’s disciplinary policy.” Other colleges/universities have also have stated the same thing as well.

Here at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, the Tolerance Club organized a memorial to gather participants for the National School Walkout Day. At 9:55 am, the dismissal bell rang and instead of reporting to the next period, students, who chose to participate,walked out to the blacktop for 17 minutes of silence to honor the lives lost. Posters with the names and details of those who did not survive the shooting were present.

Senior Amelia Navarro is the president of the Tolerance Club. She says that “as more shootings are occurring, students are becoming more desensitized to them. School shootings are not normal and this student-led memoriam must bring more attention to that. Honoring the lives of the students and teachers lost is the least we can do.”

Despite different political opinions, hundreds of HMSA students and faculty participated in the walkout to remember those who did not survive the shooting. Details were read out loud and they highlighted the idea that the lives lost were ordinary people like us: teachers, daughters, sons, fathers.

The walkout was a success, and it’s all thanks to Tolerance Club and the student leaders of HMSA.