By Eliza Fisher ‘23
At 10:00 AM on Friday, April 20th, middle and high school students walked out of their classrooms and gathered on the sidewalk next to Heschel to commemorate the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. During the walkout, a small group of sixth and seventh graders (the eighth graders were in Israel) spoke about why they were walking out and the changes that need to be made to gun laws.
The speeches were very empowering, especially because young people, our future, were speaking up about what they believe in and were leading a walkout all by themselves. The middle schoolers were truly fearless as they demanded change on the laws of gun control. They were energized by the power they had and the impact their voices would make.
After their speeches, all middle schoolers, not just those who lead the walkout, were given the opportunity to say something. One middle schooler expressed how terrified she is to go to school every day, knowing that she could be the next victim of a school shooting. Her voice quivered with terror and tears began to fall from her eyes. As her friends comforted her, the high schoolers began to lead chants.
One aspect that made this walkout so different from the walkout on March 14, was that it was absolutely student-led. There was no planning with the administration beforehand nor discussions during advisory. No one felt pressured to walk out, yet so many students did. This walkout gave me more desire to make a change in the world. This walkout showed me that change is not too far away, especially with a group of determined young activists who feel the same way.