Students join national walk out
At 10 a.m. on March 14, schools across America were virtually empty for 17 minutes as students walked out of their schools in solidarity for the 17 victims of the school shooting in Parkland that occurred exactly one month prior.
At WHS, students participating in the walkout met at the flagpoles, as student body and senior class president Mimi Wiles delivered a speech.
In her speech, Wiles expressed, “We are coming together in unity to mourn the 17 innocent lives lost in the recent mass shooting in our country at Stoneman Douglas High School.”
Following the speech, students took a lap around the school, then returned to third period.
“I did not ask for silence [during the march], but it was mostly silent anyway. Any conversation I heard was about the walkout itself or what happened in Parkland,” Wiles said.
Wiles stressed that at WHS, the discussion was about school safety and solidarity for the SDHS victims, rather than gun control, which is the primary national focus of the walkout movement.
Student government organized the walkout at WHS, with the help of the administration and a few passionate students, including Kate Vojtkofsky (12), who ran the @whsactivism page to disseminate information about the walkout.
According to principal Tyler Keener, the WHS administration did not take an official stance on the walkout, but the students who organized the walkout have communicated with the administration every step of the way in order to ensure student safety.
Keener stated, “I commend the student leaders who have proactively worked with administrators to present a plan that is based with an overwhelming emphasis on unity.”
The walkout was optional for students, and those who participated were not punished for their absences from class.