On Wednesday, March 14, students across the United States participated in the National School Walkout.
The walkout honored the students lost in the mass shooting tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, just one month earlier. Students walked out of their classrooms for 17 minutes, 1 minutes to honor each of the students who died in the shooting. The walkout included more than 3,000 schools across the country.
As young people from Parkland and beyond demand more gun control regulations and an end to mass shootings and needlessly lost lives, students across the country took a stand. The walkout extended beyond school walls, to Washington, D.C. protests and even a 17-minute pause in Nickelodeon’s morning programming.
We asked real teens to talk about their experience with Wednesday’s school walkout.
Everly Mag asked our teen readers: Tell us about YOUR experience with National School Walkout Day.
Jenna, 14: “I chose to walk out for the 17 [who] can’t. I chose to walk out because the word should continue to be spread all throughout the world until there is a change. When there is a decrease in school shootings I know we will have done enough finally! #NeverAgain.”
Emily, 17: “For my personal experience, [our] small school walkout was very touching because we didn’t protest for gun control. We actually had the option to walk out (into the auditorium due to safety) and stand in silence for 17 minutes to remember the 17 [students]. A lot of students did not support the walkout because of the assumption of it being about gun control. But, the ones that did walk out were very respectful as we stood in an auditorium together in silence with no teacher.”
Angie, 14: “It was such an amazing day! A great day in which change was made! I loved participating in my high school’s walkout and look forward to having several more acts of change like [we had] today.”
Katherine, 15: “Instead of having a walkout, we had a sit-in, as we had nowhere to go. We ended up forming a prayer circle. After some [students] prayed, and we had a moment of silence, we spoke our minds. I personally made a speech. Then, we had an hour of remembrance later that day. I sent a letter, and came up with some ideas to make a change. The whole day we encouraged one another and talked about how we, as teenagers, could [create] a revolution.”
Elisabeth, 14: “My school (we only have 57 students) made a huge banner that said ‘Remember the Victims of the Parkland School Shooting’ and went out along the street next to our school. We held it up, stood silently, and waited for responses. Boy, we got a lot. Many of the cars that passed beeped at us, and the cars that were closest to us gave us a big thumbs-up or wave. Only two people screamed out of their cars in disapproval, but since it was a peaceful protest, we all simply continued standing tall and honoring the lives that were lost. This was the first protest I was part of and it feels so great knowing that we gained lots of attention. In this situation, the more attention, the better.”
Feature Image Credit: Women’s March Youth