In stark contrast to protests at schools throughout the country, Page High School students stood out as a beacon of peace and hope, showing respect rather than anger during their participation of the national school walkout scheduled for today.
In an impressive show of solidarity, approximately 150 to 200 students of Page High School gathered in a circle this morning at 10AM with numerous other schools throughout the nation for 17 minutes of silence in honor of the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting exactly one month ago today.
Principle Anne Martin and Superintendent Rob Varner spoke with LPNN this morning regarding the event.
Through multiple social media sites, several students learned of the national walkout scheduled for today, some of those students are on the Student Council. To show their respect and honor to the lives lost one month ago, the Student Council, along with Principal Martin and other administrators worked to collaborate a peaceful walkout.
Principal Martin stated that she spoke with the Student Council and asked if they knew if students were planning a walkout for today. The response was a resounding ‘yes’. Principal Martin then challenged the Student Council to work out how the walkout would look.
The Student Council decided that the meaning behind today’s walkout was four-fold: creating community throughout the student body, humility, respect, and honor. The Student Council also decided that it was more powerful for the students participating in the walkout to be in one location rather than scattered throughout school grounds.
Principal Martin stated, “I was really proud of that because they [the Student Council] came to these decisions on their own” and that the Student Council was willing to speak and work with the Administration in organizing the walkout.
Out of the 17 minutes, one for each life lost, it took roughly 3 minutes for the student body to completely come together. One student from the Student Council lead the way for all others, especially those who may not have understood the reason for the walkout or may not have heard about the walkout. As the large group of students formed a circle and began holding hands, their Student Council representative spoke about the reason for the walkout, effectively setting the tone for the remaining 14 minutes. The message was for this to be a time of silence and respect, not a protest nor a time to just get out of class.
At the conclusion of the walkout, Student Council leaders began quietly walking back to classes, setting an example for the rest of the student body to return to their respective classes in the same manner: proud for the show of solidarity they had just accomplished, humility, respectful for those who survived, and silent for those whose lives were lost.
When speaking with Superintendent Rob Varner regarding the walkout, he told LPNN “As Superintendent I will always support our student’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression. I am proud of the High School Administration, staff, and students in organizing a peaceful protest.” “I am super proud of the kids protesting peacefully and working with the Administration”.
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