Students Hold Walk Out In Memory of the Lives Lost in Parkland

Students carry a banner bearing the names of the victims of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 1018.

Emily Blount, Editorial Board

On Feb. 14, 2018, there was a school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 14 students and 3 teachers were murdered during the incident. General McLane High School, in an effort to show solidarity with the students at Stoneman Douglas, participated in the National School Walkout. The walkout was hosted to honor the victims of the shooting and bring attention to the need for school safety.

The walkout took place on March 14 in the auditorium. Senior Madeline Bruce registered and organized the walk out. She also planned and shared ideas with other schools in the Erie area who also participated. “I thought people would talk about it for a week, then let it fade off into the distance, a long forgotten memory after every-one gave their thoughts and said their prayers. Little did I know that the person who committed this crime did so at the wrong school and to the wrong generation. Little did I know that the students who survived would lead a revolution, and I would be a part of it,” declared Bruce at the walkout.

About 150 students and staff at GM attended the walk out. Many had different reasons why they left their class at 10 am to at-tend. Senior Chloe Sherman said, “I want to show my support for the victims and their families.” Junior Aleah Cimino said, “There needs to be a change in order to avoid this ever happening again.” Students who chose to not participate stayed in their second period classes.

“I didn’t want to go to a thing that I didn’t know what we were supporting. I didn’t want to blindly support something in case it was something I didn’t believe in. Some students were also afraid of being judged,” Derek Fay, junior, stated.

The walkout was in no way meant to be political. Students were there to call for safety in schools and to honor the victims not to protest cur-rent gun laws in America. At the auditorium doors, participants were met by their fellow classmates handing out voter registration forms and marrow ribbons, the school color of Stoneman Douglas. During the demonstration, 17 students and teachers from GM read biographies of the victims from the Parkland shooting that in someway resembled themselves. This was meant to exemplify how the victims of Parkland were just like students and teachers from not only General McLane but also from many aspects of life.

After the biographies were read, Mrs. Blount gave a tribute to one of General McLane’s own that was lost to gun violence in school. Friend, father, and teacher Mr. John Gillette was an eighth grade science teacher at James W. Parker Middle School. He was tragically killed at the eighth grade dinner dance 20 years ago this April by a student with a gun.

General McLane was joined by tens of thousands of students across the nation. Students, teachers, and faculty participated in many different ways, including walking out of their schools, holding memorials, and calling for change within the government. Some students were given detentions while some were even suspended. Nevertheless, students are eager to continue the conversation this Saturday at the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C.