Students Across the Nation Walked Out of Class After Recent School Shooting

17 were murdered – and 17 more injured — in Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14, 2018. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in history and from its aftermath student survivors formed Never Again MSD — (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — to advocate for stricter gun regulation. What is titled as the “Enough! National School Walkout” was a planned walkout at 10 a.m. across every time zone for 17 minutes on March 14, 2018. The walkout was organized by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER and supported by Never Again MSD. They called for anyone in school to temporarily exit their classrooms to peacefully protest Congress’ inaction for legislation despite growing gun violence in the United States.

It was probably one of the most effective examples of challenging others to view something political in more than one perspective. It’s rare that we, as students, have the opportunity to have our opinions and fears amplified to such magnitude across the nation. 

Students had the opportunity to have their opinions voiced across the nation. All that needed to happen to start discussion was to stand up and leave class. Opposing the walkout were many people concerned about students skipping class. These people trended the phrase “walk up, not out” encouraging students to approach those who might feel alone or who may be victims of bullying. Some school administrators managed to bridge the gap between the two sides. These administrations organized assemblies at 10 a.m. to have faculty members and students discuss gun violence and school safety. Here at Black Hills State University nothing was planned in place of the walkout but several students purposely attended their 10 a.m. morning class 17 minutes late.   

The walkout was never made to be an excuse to skip time in the classroom. It was a 17-minute period to peacefully spread awareness without having to physically speak or debate. It was also a time of mourning. Every minute of the walkout was in remembrance of one of the 17 lives taken one month ago. 

We were hopeful that it would start conversations about the state of our nation. Hopeful that it showed our schools that seeing an empty seat in class isn’t always comfortable, or that someone interrupting class to leave can be frustrating. Maybe it put into light that classes have been interrupted far too many times with violence. For some it was a way to express their frustrations about our government only offering their “thoughts and prayers” instead of passing policy and change. Regardless what was on everyone’s mind, together we knew that enough was enough and not one more mass shooting should be in our country’s schools.  

It spread awareness and I believe it was a great success across America. Others saved the debating and vocal protest for the “March for Our Lives” gatherings in local cities, and outside the capitol in Washington D.C. on March 24, 2018. Our generation of teenagers and young adults are not backing down from what has put ourselves in danger. We aim to show our leaders that we recognize the need for change. Automatic assault rifles are designed for assaulting and bump fire stocks shouldn’t just be illegal in some states but across the nation. We’re tired of hearing we are too young to understand government, and we will continue to advocate until the students of America are safe. 

Lisa Kerner