Students take a stand: The walks for Parkland

Maddie Brockmyre, Editor in chief

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One month after the tragic Parkland shooting, students at Grand Haven and nationwide continued to foster conversation about school safety, bullying and guns while also honoring the 17 lives lost with walk-ins and walkouts.

Organized by freshman Lexi Tater, junior Faith Stevens, sophomore Jackson Schulte and junior Katie Pease with the help of the administration, a short slide show was presented in classes and then students were allowed to walk to the gym to participate in a moment of silence. The presentation stated that the goal of the walk-in was to remember the Parkland shooting as well as encourage students to be more aware of bullying and importance of a secure building.

 

The four student organizers give a small speech before the moment of silence in the field house.

 

“I feel like it went super well, I’m really glad everyone came and supported each other,” Pease said.

According to the Grand Haven twitter, about 1,000 students were in attendance in the field house.

While the event inside occurred, around 100 students stood outside by the flagpoles in silence, also in remembrance of the Parkland victims.

“I think that walking out is a little bit of a bigger sacrifice, because of all the colder temperatures,” junior Miguel Castelean said. “I think I found a bigger meaning in walking out rather than walking in.”

I think I found a bigger meaning in walking out rather than walking in.”

— Junior Miguel Castelean

Some students chose to walk out because of the structured organization of the walk-in, stating that unity with the rest of the nation is important.

“I don’t like how the school handled it,” junior Gage Williams said. “The whole purpose of it was to be a walkout not a walk-in and it’s a nationwide thing too. So, I feel like the school can have more leniency with us on it.”

Safety was the main factor that lead the organizers to choose a walk-in over a walkout. According to Tater and Principal Tracy Wilson, dangers with cars driving in the parking lot, a lack of control of students and the fear of a potential copy-cat drove the moment of remembrance from outside to in.

The organizers also stated that they wanted to reflect on the tragedy by focusing more on respecting one another and the responsibility of students to close doors and enter through the main office instead of gun control.

“I understand that it’s not what the rest of the country is doing but we wanted to give the students an option that wasn’t political,” Pease said.

Maddie Brockmyre

Another concern surrounding the walk-out was attendance, some speculating that students would exit the school and leave campus, using the event to get out of class. However, students that participated outside say that the walkout was orderly and no one left school grounds.

“That’s not really the case,” sophomore Sean Moll said. “I didn’t see one person actually leave. Everybody that left [the building] came back [inside].”

Despite the students being split on both their end goals and their method of spreading awareness, both groups were praised by administration for being respectful and active.

“I am extremely proud of our students,” Wilson said. “When they ever come up with a plan and determine something that they want to do, it’s always done very well. When they have a belief or mission, they get it done.”

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Students take a stand: The walks for Parkland