NEWS, POLITICS & ACTIVISM — February 26, 2018 at 5:02 am

[Photo Gallery] Local schools hold walkouts in support of MSD

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In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many schools in Broward County and other surrounding areas have taken it upon themselves to organize walkouts and other events to support both the #NeverAgain movement and the MSD student body.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, students from West Boca Community High School in Boca Raton walked the 12 miles from their school to MSD, to be welcomed by a crowd of students. Some students were dehydrated and all of them were exhausted. However, they were there to make a statement. Their lives were worth more than NRA blood money.

In the days following, several other schools made the journey to MSD, such as Atlantic Technical College, Coral Springs High School, Coral Glades High School, Westglades Middle School, Coral Springs Middle School and many others. If they were too far, like Pembroke Pines Charter High School and Piper High School in Sunrise, they held a 17 minute walkout to support MSD anyway. Piper High School principal Angel Gomez joined his students in their protest, armed with a megaphone and a ladder.

While many schools are in favor of supporting their students’ right to free speech and protest, some schools around the nation, like Needville High School in Texas, are threatening to punish students if they disrupt classes by participating in a walkout.

The sight of the schools gathering at the border of MSD campus was a powerful one to watch. Chanting slogans such as “Lives Over Guns” and “Douglas Strong,” protesters effectively blocked traffic on the intersection of Holmberg Road and Pine Island Road during the time of their arrival. On Wednesday in particular, hundreds crowded in front of MSD. The group from West Boca also shut down parts of Loxahatchee Road on their journey down to campus.

For the students of MSD, like senior Aly Sheehy, the support of other students meant a lot.

“It was amazing, I have no words to describe how proud I am of our community,” Sheehy said. “The support we have is amazing and it kind of showed me that we can change this, that the students were not going to let this movement die.”

Other schools in Broward County that have been supporting the efforts of MSD students are Pembroke Pines Charter High School, Spanish River High School, Plantation High School, South Plantation High School, South Broward High School, North Broward Preparatory School and Cypress Bay High School.

As the Parkland community recovers from the tragedy of Feb. 14, the support of fellow students keeps the MSD student body hopeful, hopeful that their words are not being thrown into the air unheard. Their support is living proof that this movement is resonating with the next generation. Change is coming, one walkout at a time.

Nikhita Nookala

Nikhita is a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School and can be found on campus participating in many club events. She hopes to pursue a career in internal medicine.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi, I am the editor at a high school newspaper in Virginia, and I just wanted to say how grateful I am that y’all are able to use your platform to show the truth of the tragedy in your school. I would love to be in contact with you guys about a story that we are working on right now. I want it to be full of truth and your words.
    Thank you so much!

  2. Nikhita Nookala,thank you for your blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  3. The whole world is watching you and your classmates, awed and humbled by your strength and fearlessness for speaking truth to power.

    I love thst the entrance of your school quotes Gandhi to “be the change.”. After so many Americans decry mass murders and gun violence in this country with no results, your class is BEING the change!

    I was editor of a high school newspaper in 1965, as the war in Vietnam was building up, and our advisor would not allow articles on that subject, saying some would consider it “derogatory.” Many of my class were drafted and died in Vietnam, while others took to the streets and built a massive civil disobedience movement to end that war.

    Last week the President surprised corporate media by taking a different perspective on guns. But this week those changes are not on the Congressional agenda. Saying and doing are not the same. We need to BE the change.

    After Sandy Hook parents repeatedly went to Congress and got nowhere, and President Obama tasked Joe Biden with making change, there was no change. Yet many want Biden to run for President. He has a long history of successfully negotiating highly sensitive Senate and foreign policies. But NOTHING has changed regarding guns and Parkland students have called status quo BS. Yes!!

    Journalism is key to a democracy. There are always many ways to look at issues, and who owns the media explains their positions. For example if your parent corporation makes money by selling military helicopters, and some get shot down, then it’s time to sell more helicopters. So a status quo candidate that believes endless war protects us from what we think is important, maybe 2nd Ammendments rights, will be promoted by their corporate media arm. That is why this Crowdfunded effort is a perfect way for Parkland students to speak and organize on your own. You have called out how the NRA nurtures politicians and both political parties.
    Whistleblowers Assange, Manning and Snowden are reviled by politicians and corporate media (“kill the messenger,”) they are honored in Germany and other countries who question how US is mired in a culture of violence. Stay strong on this dangerous path of BEING the change.

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