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Students voice their opinion across the nation with 17-minute walk out

Students+gather+in+a+peaceful+protest+inside+the+cafeteria
Students gather in a peaceful protest inside the cafeteria

Students gather in a peaceful protest inside the cafeteria

courtesy of Devin Barge

courtesy of Devin Barge

Students gather in a peaceful protest inside the cafeteria

by Jacob Bolger, Editor

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The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/xfl6m

On  March 14th, students left their classrooms to gather in the cafeteria for 17 minutes, symbolic of remembrance for the 17 lives lost one month prior in Parkland, Florida. The events at Stoneman Douglas High School were truly horrific, and citizens across the country (especially teens) are in search of a way to prevent another tragedy such as this.

Participants aimed at creating a peaceful protest, which would focus on issues such as school safety and gun control . Across the country, this movement was a big leap for students, primarily those in search of a method to make their voices heard.

Students left their second period at exactly 10:00 a.m. Earlier in the morning, FCPS superintendent Dr. Terry Alban made a video announcement, and spoke about school safety and supported thoughtful methods of protesting by students, and proposed actions such as committing 17 acts of kindness.

“My parents were aware of the fact I was participating in this walkout, and they were supportive of it,” said sophomore Lawrence Liu.

When students entered the cafeteria, they peacefully assembled and sat quietly, listening to Class of 2019 members Katie Lehman, Beau Cameron, and Ashley Perise. This speech targeted the students’ ability to make a change through their actions and discussed the issue of gun violence in our community.

Prior to the walkout, Lehman had contacted staff with suggestions for the protest, and provided a PowerPoint presentation concerning information about school safety.

In her email, she wrote, “I’m at an age where my choices have an impact and my voice can be heard… this school is my second home, and I see so many here as family. I believe that all of us together can make a change, a lasting change.”

Although this is a big leap for students, it is not nearly a fix to the issue. In order to protect our schools moving forward, we need state legislators and school officials to work in unison to promote safety and enforce the policies put in place. This event has shone light on a major topic of debate and controversy, which may help protect our students in the future.

On the same day as the walkout occurred, the school experienced abnormally high absence rates due to a shooting threat. The night before the walkout, a FCPS Find Out First alert had notified families that the issue had been thoroughly investigated, and said, “To help reassure students that our school is safe, there will be an increased law enforcement presence at school tomorrow. LHS staff will also make an effort to be highly visible in hallways and common areas.”

Despite the reassurances from administration, many students still felt unsafe, and decided not to attend school.

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The student news site of Linganore High School.
Students voice their opinion across the nation with 17-minute walk out