National School Walkout: Voices

Voices collected by Journalism 1 Staff Writers

As the national school walkout in response to the Parkland Massacre progressed Wednesday morning, we sent staff writers into the crowd to gather voices on why students attended the event and what they hoped for the future.

“Why are you taking part in this walkout?”

“I want to pay tribute to those victimized by the shooting as well as be a part of a movement. Echoing the primary message from the speech, small acts make big impacts.” — Ishani Pandya, 11

“I took part because I thought this would make a statement and would hopefully make a difference for the better, by making people in authority take notice of how many people feel strongly about this issue, and hopefully it’ll lead to the enacting of stricter gun laws.” — Nisha Sen, 12

“I participated in the walkout because I feel that if students do something to make a change, there’s a greater chance that things will actually change. The walkout didn’t really feel like a protest, more like a rally, but it was a step. This walkout may not do anything certain, like it may not change gun laws, but us trying is definitely worth it.” — Sanchi Kumar, 11

“I’m really sick and tired of gun violence in America, and I think something should be done about it, it’s not just our school doing this it’s everyone. Second, I want to show support for student activity; when I was young I passed out black armbands during [the] Vietnam [War]. I think it’s very important for students to understand that the world is going to be theirs, and they need to be active in it.” Attendance Clerk Jennifer Schneider

“Well first, I know it didn’t directly affect us, but this is something that everyone, especially high [schoolers], should be aware of and stand for, because this did happen to people our age. And I know that this won’t directly change anything, but it will make people more aware of how many people this affected.” — Julia Lee, 11


“What do you hope this event will accomplish moving forward?”

“Obviously, politicians right now are saying a lot of things but they’re not really doing a lot, following up on what they say. So I say that they should actually do what they say they’ll do, and take action. This event at MSJ and also the three thousand other schools across the US, I hope that [they] will raise awareness and show that there are tons of people and students that care about this issue, and that it is a serious issue. The big talk isn’t doing much, and we need to take action.” — Benjamin Ye, 10

“Even though I know this particular action may not bring about immediate change, the fact that for the first time our school stood together and rallied against what we thought was wrong excites me and makes me hope that as a school, we continue these types of events and make our voice heard not just now, but years down the road.” — Akshay Aravindan, 12

“Going forward, I hope that more people like me will become more involved in social issues. We may be teenagers today, but we’ll be adults tomorrow. It’s important to learn how to use your voice to effectively bring change.” — Meera Sehgal, 9

“Even though we haven’t really faced such a threat, it’s becoming really common. Before it happens on our campus, we have to stop this. Our lives could be in danger. I have a younger brother, and of course I wouldn’t want to learn that he is at school and there was a mass shooting. Some of the shootings that happen are attacks on elementary schools. Before these young children can achieve anything, they are gone. It is important for us to start speaking up. We can start bringing some control over the situation. Even though this protest in a way was kind of on a smaller scale, I think that because it was a national event it showed that students do care, and students want a place where they can be safe. I remember I went to this meeting where a parent said, ‘We send our children to school, to an environment where we are trusting the people there that they are going to be safe, and they will come back home.’ That really stuck with me, because I never thought about it in that way — that parents could be afraid to send their kids to school if such things keep on happening.” — Satabdiya Roy, 11

“I participated because it’s time to see a change. If we don’t take the initial steps to see that change, it’s not going to happen. We are the next generation, and the future is in our hands. I feel like the walkout mainly brought awareness. The walkout itself won’t bring direct change, but it draws awareness to the issue.” — Sierra Raha, 11

“I took part in this walkout because I strongly believe that gun violence has been a big issue in our country and even though many tragedies throughout the past years have taken place, there hasn’t been any action taken towards the issue. We should use our voices as much as we can to demand for change because these shootings have become normalized. Sympathy and apologies do not bring back the people who died.” Shivani Patel, 12


Graphic by Graphics Editor Evangeline Chang

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