On March 14 between 500 and 600 Godwin students participated in the National School Walkout. The walkout was organized by several Godwin seniors in response to the school shooting that occurred at Major E Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. where 17 lives were lost.

At exactly 10:00 a.m participating students stood up, left their classes, and silently proceeded out onto the school football field. The students arranged themselves in a line standing side by side with one another. The turnout was so large that Godwin students extended the line across the football field, and then wrapped the line around an additional portion of the field.

It took about two to three minutes for all students to assemble on the football field. Once all participants had gathered, 18 of the student organizers lined up on the bleachers with each of 17 holding a flower. Throughout this time, every student was instructed to remain silent to pay respect to those lost in Parkland exactly a month earlier.

One student organizer read an introduction explaining why schools across the nation were walking out on March 14. Then the 17 remaining student organizers read a description of one of the 17 Parkland lives lost in the school shooting. The descriptions of each student concluded with the statement “never again,” with some descriptions concluding with “never again will he teach in his classroom,” or “never again will she grace others with her dance.”

According to student leaders, this statement was chosen to integrate and promote the #neveragain used to represent the national movement on social media. At the conclusion of each description, the student organizer passed his or her flower on to the next student, and at the end of the readings, a bouquet of 17 flowers was held to represent the 17 lives lost.

Student organizers chose to host the walkout in order to symbolize that the Parkland students will never walk out of their school again. “We must contribute our voices, whatever that voice may be, to the future,” said senior student organizer Emma Ford.

 

Photos courtesy junior Noah Rogg

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©2018 Eagles' Eyrie - the school newspaper for Mills E. Godwin High School in Henrico, VA

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