Titusville High School was one of more than 3,000 high schools across the country that joined the #Enough National School Walkout to End Gun Violence on Wednesday to honor the 17 people killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at a Florida high school.
The National School Walkout, in which students left class for 17 minutes, at 10 a.m., Wednesday, was done in remembrance of the 17 people who were killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
According to THS Principal Phil Knapp, about 50 to 60 students participated in the walkout on a cold, snowy Wednesday morning.
Knapp said the students were outside for 17 minutes.
“They stood outside for 17 minutes in the cold weather and the leaders of the group thanked everybody for supporting (the event),” he said.
Knapp said the students approached him on Tuesday with a plan.
“Their right to free speech was supported by myself,” he said. “And we needed to give them that avenue, and to give them an opportunity to speak through silence.”
He said he contacted the Titusville Police Department and officers were present for the safety of the students.
Knapp said the students were “absolutely respectable.
“I granted permission and they came down, got themselves organized and stood outside for 17 minutes, and at the end of 17 minutes, they came inside.
“It was fully their idea to do the walkout in support of those who were killed in the shootings,” (and show they are against further school shootings.)
THS wasn’t the only area school that participated in the National School Walkout.
A student at Maplewood High School organized a walkout there with the help of the school’s principal and vice principal.
According to Maud Bulman, a junior at Maplewood, an estimated 75 students participated in the National School Walkout.
“We went outside and stood around the flagpole,” Bulman said.
She added that during the walkout, she read the names of each of the 17 people who were killed in the Florida high school shooting, and then had a moment of silence, followed by a talk about what happened at the high school in Florida.
“At first, I assumed someone would organize it, and a couple of days before the event, I spread the word through social media and word of mouth,” Bulman said. “I was called into the principal’s office, and we talked about it and decided to keep going with it.”
She said Principal Kenneth Wolfarth and Assistant Principal Erica Howick helped her organize Maplewood’s walkout.
“It went a lot better than I expected,” Bulman said. “Everyone was respectful and everyone was quiet, and it was orderly.”
Another area school that participated was Rocky Grove High School.
According to a press release from the Sugarcreek Police Department, there were no incidents reported during the walkout at Rocky Grove HS.
The press release stated that about 120 students assembled peacefully and quietly during their demonstration and walked quietly throughout the school, as well as around the exterior of the building so they would not disturb other students who were still in class.
According to organizers of the national event, the walkout, which the national group, Women’s March, organized, also has a political element, as some students have said they will use the opportunity to call for safer schools or gun control.
Students across the U.S. walked out of school Wednesday to demand action on gun violence and to honor the 17 people killed in Parkland, Florida. From campuses battling snowstorms to schools that have seen their own fatal shootings, students left their classrooms for 17 minutes — one each for the dead in Florida. In all, more than 3,000 walkouts were planned, organizers said.
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