Why the Walk Out Made a Mark

Ellie Matson, Staff Writer

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Exactly one month after the shooting in Parkland Florida, students around the nation walked out of class to protest Congress’s inaction on gun control. Schools across the country walked out for 17 minutes at 10 AM. I participated in the walk out at our very own Towson High School, which reassured me that my fellow classmates and peers want change as much as I do. Students walked out of class that morning to show that they no longer want to feel unsafe in their school environments. 

It was incredible to the see the turn out, and the number of students that walked around the track, completely disregarding the cold and windy weather that morning. Some came with posters and others chanted for gun control, but the spirit of the event brought a smile to my face. The aspect that gave me the most hope was how we all came together -friends or enemies – we  as a school to express our feelings for those 17 minutes. According to Action Network, an online tool for mobilizing events to promote social change, “Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.” 

Chills fluttered across my entire body as I turned my head around to see the entire track of Towson filled with lines of students, teachers, and administrators showing support for the cause.  

Although there was an immense amount of support, not everyone took the time and effort to walk out on March 14th. Before the event took place, I was nervous to get up and leave my class in the middle of a lesson, yet I had a feeling in my gut that it was something I needed to do. I watched the clock as it switched to 10 AM and I got up out of my seat, looked around only to find myself standing alone. I was disappointed and shocked to see my class sit still, worrying about judgment from others or getting too cold outside. I thought to myself, “Why aren’t my classmates standing up for their own safety and comfort in school?”  I asked around my table, seeking answers as to why nobody wanted to go, and heard one of my peers say, “This walk out is pointless and will cause no change.” 

Maybe the walk out didn’t cause immediate change, but it made a mark. Driven by the idea we would never have to run from guns again, we walked. We walked for 17 minutes twice around the track surrounding the field. Some may view this as a pointless and drawn out movement, but to me it showed courage and compassion. I am proud of my school for the support they showed that morning and hope for political change in the future. 

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