By Kate McLaughlin '18
On April 20, Middle and Upper Schoolers joined thousands of students nationwide for the National School Walkout to protest gun violence. At 10:00 AM, students marched in silence along the Great Road, carrying signs that encouraged stronger government action and greater vigilance around the availability of guns in our country. Upon arriving at the grass athletic fields, they visited educational and advocacy stations to learn more about the gun control issue, pre-register to vote, send letters to elected officials, and don ribbons of solidarity.
Upper School Student Government representatives led a memorial ceremony honoring the thirteen victims of the Columbine School Shooting, as April 20 marked the nineteenth anniversary of that tragic event. As names of the victims were read aloud, students placed a candle and a rose at empty desks, symbolizing the lives lost that day. The ceremony was also intended to remember the hundreds of people who have lost their lives to gun violence, particularly during those incidents that occurred in schools.
Following the memorial, students lined the Great Road, chanting "No More Silence, End Gun Violence," among other similar messages. They were encouraged by passing motorists who frequently cheered and honked their horns.
The event was designed for students, by students in order to create an opportunity for active and visible expression. For many, it was an initial and meaningful participation in the democratic process, consistent with Goal Three, a social awareness which impels to action.
Seeing more than 100 Stuart students educate themselves and others, use their voices, and advocate for change, was truly inspiring to those who participated and those who witnessed it.
Student Government is grateful to all of the administration and faculty members who helped organize a safe and successful walkout, especially Mr. Cupit, Mr. Malloy, Mr. Malone, Mr. Missonis, Mr. Piscitelli, Mr. Porreca, Ms. Portlock, Ms. Ryan, Mr. Wilson, and Mrs. O'Connor.
Click here for photos from the walkout. Watch a video below of the rose-laying ceremony and scenes from the girls on Great Road.