Expirencing the “Walk Out”

Expirencing+the+%22Walk+Out%22

Madyson Lewellyn

March 14th marks a memorable day in history–just one month after the school shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida. Student across the country rally beside each other to commemorate the 17 fallen lives at Stoneman Douglas High School and cultivate gun violence awareness. The walkout unfolds amid a reinvigorated national debate over gun control and school safety, sparked by student survivors of the Parkland shooting.

I walked into school on Wednesday morning unknowing if I was going to walk out with my classmates or remain at my desk. Instead of a protest on the front lawn of Lakewood High, the school offered an optional, one period assembly in the First Federal Energy Stadium to honor the students killed. Anger began to circulate on Twitter the night before as the student body showed a disdain for a “school sanctioned protest”–believing it defeated the purpose of the movement. I partially saw the rationale, but sided with the school’s choice to provide a safe option for students to properly show respect for those lost at Parkland.

My reservations were sparked from fear. A fear generated at the possibility of another shooting, given the one location for all students to meet at 10am. As a student at Lakewood, the possibility of something so sinister happening seemed impossible…but the children at Parkland thought the same thing–and it did happen to them. It is a sad moment in time to feel unsafe in the sanctuary of school.

Despite my reservation, I made up my mind to ‘walk out’ at 10am with my classmates. At 30 degrees, the assembly was truly an experience I am grateful–witnessing  students fill the bleachers, give heart-felt speeches, and hold up signs for a change. We stood, shoulder to shoulder, remembering the 17 individuals  who had not only lost their lives, but the hundreds of other people who lost their best friend, their coach, their teacher, their sibling.

Enduring the pain of the cold for a few moments is nothing compared to the pain endured in Parkland, Florida.