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BF Responds to “National Walkout Day”

Students show their support for the "National Walkout Day".

Tommy Clark, Staff Writer

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AT 10:00 AM ON MARCH 14, tens of thousands of students left their classrooms in around 3,000 schools across America in an event dubbed ‘National Walkout Day’. They marched, chanted, wrote letters, sang, walked, and sat in silence to show solidarity with the 17 victims who were fatally shot in Parkland, Florida.

 

Here at BF, students also left their classes, and headed for the auditorium to participate in the national event. There, group of about six eighth grade students lead a pre-organised ceremony. You may also have noticed many people wearing orange shirts, as that color was chosen to distinguish participants and protesters (more on that later). The school administration was minimally involved in organising the event.

About 550 students attended the event, which began with readings for each victim killed in Parkland.  A CNN video was played, listing about half of the victim’s names and a brief statement about them and their personalities. Soon, the student organisers took over, continuing the pattern of name and description. After every name, everyone said together “We Will Remember.” After the names were read, attendants sat or stood in silence for 17 seconds, one for each person who died.

After the short ceremony was concluded, the students began to write letters to officials and organisations, some asking for stricter gun laws, while others wrote to the high school where the shooting took place. Students opened their Chromebooks and hit the keyboards. Several congressmen’s/women’s names, positions and addresses were shown on the stage so students could find someone in power to write to. The National Rifle Association’s address was also listed. Those who wrote letters were instructed to share them to certain people so they could be printed and mailed. With this, the assembly came to a close, people began to file back to classes as they finished their letters. About 125 letters were sent, about half were written to Marjory Stoneman High School, other popular locations were The White House and The NRA.

Meanwhile, across the Eastern Time Zone fellow students were participating in similar ceremonies. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the shooting took place, students gathered on the outdoor athletic field, but eventually began a walk to a nearby park. At Ridgewood High School, students in support of Gun Control gathered outdoors at 10:00, while supporters of Gun Rights gathered in the campus center.

Teachers and students alike could be seen sporting bright orange shirts during the Wednesday event. . According to ‘Wear Orange’ an organization that works to spread awareness of gun violence — “Orange is what hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. Orange is a bright, bold color that demands to be seen. Orange expresses our collective hope as a nation — a hope for a future free from gun violence.”

 

There was a second round of marches and protests on March 24, most notably a march on Washington. For further info, search for “March For Our Lives.” There was also a smaller march in Hackensack, flyers for that march were exchanged at BF.

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