By Suzannah Peckham
Teenagers across the United States are left reeling after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day. They want to strike a change in their communities and in their country, and they want the change to begin immediately and in their own schools. More than 2,000 schools across the nation, and several local schools, are joining with the Parkland students in solidarity to show support.
At MPH, seniors Aiden Meyer and Isabella Casella have organized a school-wide walkout in conjunction with the National School Walkout, called #ENOUGH, to honor those who lost their lives one month ago. The next national walk out event is scheduled for April 20, which will be the 19th anniversary of Columbine. Tomorrow’s walk out is in remembrance of those who died, but is also a rally for gun control measures, including a demand for a ban of assault weapons, universal background checks before gun sales, and passing a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.
On Wednesday, students will leave class at 10 a.m. and remain outside for 17 minutes in memory of the 17 students and teachers who lost their lives at Stoneman Douglas. During those 17 minutes students will join together, short speeches will be given and for the remainder of the time there will be silence.
“It [is] encouraging our students to take an active role within our political community,” said Meyer, “it [is also] safeguarding their own futures.”
Meyer and Casella have teamed up with senior Jeffrey Bush, who has volunteered the National Honor Society’s help for the cause.
While some schools have threatened punishing students who walk out, the MPH administration will not.
“The important thing is to allow the students the space to make their own statements,” said John Stegeman, Head of Upper School.
In response to this, many colleges have also agreed to not penalize students that have been reprimanded by their high schools who have been admitted or applied for admittance.
Check back at thepebblemag.com tomorrow for live coverage of the school walk out at MPH.
Also, look for Suzannah’s commentary on gun control in our Spring issue of the Pebble.