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Opinion-What the School Walkout Meant to Me

By: Miara Sasdi

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 10:00 am, students from Westborough High School and all over the nation participated in a 17-minute walk out from their schools to commemorate the 17 lives lost on February 14 during the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. I personally chose to take place in the walkout here at Westborough High School.  

After the walkout took place, I got the opportunity to hear my classmates’ views and opinions through social media and class discussions. After hearing their views, I realized that the walkout means something different to everyone–depending on who you ask. For some, it was a protest, while for others a memorial and then for more students, it was somewhere in the middle..

At Westborough High School, I felt that our walkout wasn’t quite a “walkout”. Although our initial plans were thrown off course due to the weather,  I feel that our walk to the lobby in between classes did not define us reaching our full potential as a student body. Looking at the news and seeing how other schools in Massachusetts and throughout the country went outside makes me disappointed that WHS did not.

As my classmates and I made our way to the lobby, I felt as if we were getting ready to go to a pep-rally, which was definitely not what was going on. Despite the atmosphere not being what I initially anticipated, I appreciated how the class presidents lead this important event. Their speeches were broad, and yet, powerful.  Followed by their words, a banner made by students was recognized and then a moment of silence was observed. Although the walkout was not exactly what I hoped for, I am grateful that our school chose to take part in this national event.

Now that the walkout is over, I keep hearing  all over the news and social media the following question:  “What was the purpose of the walkout?” For me personally, it meant so many things. First, I believe the big picture is that the walkout showed student activism with the hope of getting the conversation started on how to prevent school shootings. The walkout showed us as students and young adults that we do have strong voices. We may all have different views and opinions on gun control, but I think we can all agree that attention and change are needed. I don’t think that the walkout was trying to target any specific side of the argument of gun control, just that change is needed.

I think it’s amazing that so much awareness and so much action is being taken after the Parkland, FL school shooting. Although it took over 216 school shootings to cause so many people to take action, as we say at least it’s better now than never. The action of so many individuals choosing to walk out on March 14 shows how much our generation cares and wants our voices to be heard. At this time I don’t know the answer or solution to this major issue, but I do hope that action is taken by the federal government to better ensure the safety of schools from shootings. I also have come to realize that action starts with advocating for change from the strong voices of the young people of our nation.

Photo credited to Haley Welsh.

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