Students walk out, saying #Enough

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Students walk out, saying #Enough

Freshman Charlotte Vincent was the first student speaker at the high school's National School Walkout.

Freshman Charlotte Vincent was the first student speaker at the high school's National School Walkout.

Nick Eddinger

Freshman Charlotte Vincent was the first student speaker at the high school's National School Walkout.

Nick Eddinger

Nick Eddinger

Freshman Charlotte Vincent was the first student speaker at the high school's National School Walkout.

Emma Kahn, News Writing Editor

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“Exactly one month ago yesterday, bullets began to fly. Not on a battlefield, not across a screen in a movie theater or a story in the news. In a hallway, but not just any hallway. Bullets flew through the air past lockers, over tile floors . . . In a school, a place for learning, for laughing and for growing up. One month ago, a boy only one year older than some of you here today pulled a trigger, and in the span of five to six minutes, seventeen lives were lost. Seventeen families were devastated. Seventeen families will never see the simple, ‘Bye mom’ or, ‘See you later’ uttered at seven a.m. the same way.”

That was the beginning of freshman Charlotte Vincent’s speech, which was just one of several powerful commentaries made at the walkout protesting a lack of gun laws at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 15, known as The National School Walkout, popularly known as #Enough

At 10 a.m., hundreds of students left their A-block classes and stood outside the main entrance of the high school. This exodus was not prompted by an announcement, teachers or administrators, but rather from students working together to promote awareness and a desire for change for issues regarding gun violence.

The walkout consisted of snow flurries, speeches, the names of the seventeen victims from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month, a moment of silence and voter registration encouragement.

According to senior Salam Kasu, about 20 students were involved in the planning of the day’s events, and they started planning almost immediately after the Florida shooting.

“{The planning was} a lot of meetings, a lot of talking to each other, seeing what the world is doing, and on a national level, talking to a lot of administration,” Kasu said.

 

Nick Eddinger
Students gathered on Greenough Street in front of the high school to listen to speeches given by the organizers of the walkout. The walkout was rescheduled to be a day after the national walkout due to the snow day on Wednesday, March 14.

Senior Yama Estime said that her motivating factor in wanting to help take action and plan the event was the reality check the situation gave her.

“If you think about it, this could happen to any high school. It could happen to BHS, or all over  the United States, and what if I was in that situation in that shooting? What if I lost one of my sisters? How would I feel?” Estime said. “I had to put myself in the 17 families’ shoes to really feel that this can actually happen to anyone–that anyone can lose their brother, their sister, their son, their daughter, their whatever, and this is something that’s serious and has to be put in motion. This is what we have to do.”

Kasu also explained her desire to do something more significant than just walk out of the school, which is why she wanted to pass out voter registration forms.

“I feel like walking out is not enough. I feel like we’ve walked out so much, and actually getting out there and making voting registration accessible to everyone and making that a part of it and actually creating change was very important,” Kasu said.

While the high school was not able to execute the walkout on March 14, the day of the national walkout, due to snow, Kasu thinks it was meaningful, no matter the date.

“It was just very frustrating to not be able to do it on the national level and be in solidarity with everyone, but I think we still had to do it today,” Kasu said.

According to Headmaster Anthony Meyer, the school administration had to decide how they would deal with the 17 minutes of class time lost.

“We talked about civil disobedience and what is the right message to send students who choose to walk out of class,” Meyer said. “Given the importance of safety in our schools, we determined that it made sense to follow the lead of our students, meaning if this is something they wanted to organize, we were going to be supportive of it.”

Meyer also said that the walkout was an opportunity to let young people enact change.

“I think there are times to get out of the way of young people, and to be supportive but let young people lead,” Meyer said. “And I think in general, post-Parkland, this has been a theme and an important one, and I think we tried to do right by that notion with this rally.”

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