By Esther Animalu
In wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., hundreds of students at the World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing joined the national protests on the issue of gun violence Wednesday and conducted an optional walkout at exactly 10 a.m.
Numerous students took part in the event as they held up signs and chanted “Never Again!” outside the high school at 34-65 192nd St.
“Engaging in the walkout was my way of sending a message to Congress by urging them to take action. The Florida shooting was a complete tragedy and it must never happen again,” senior Nikita Mosier said.
As a cautionary measure, students were advised by the administration to walk along the parameters of the school, to not cross the street and to remain civil at all times. The walkout lasted for exactly 17 minuets in order to honor each life that was lost during the Feb. 14 shooting.
“I chose to participate in National Walkout Day in order to remember all of the 17 people who lost their lives exactly one month ago. It is important that youths are taking action in order to stand up against gun violence because many lives have been taken in schools across the country,” said senior Denise Amorgianos. “It is important for all students to feel safe in their schools. I feel that protesting for gun control laws will make a big change.”
Many students promoted the National Walkout Day on social media, by taking pictures of signs, going live on various media platforms, tagging Congress on their posts and filming videos. After the high school walkout, small discussions were conducted in classrooms as a means of drawing more awareness to the national movement.
Outside on the school grounds, the high school student ambassador committee organized a collaborative discussion on the issue of gun violence that took place a few periods after the walkout. Members of the program were able to voice their assertions, speak about the lives of each victim, and conduct an orderly discussion on the topic of gun laws as well as school safety. This student discussion was also optional.
Youth across America have taken a stand in order to showcase the urgency of gun control.
“No one has asked the opinion of students on the issue of gun violence when we are the ones that have been at risk the most. By walking out, we as students are able to voice our opinions on gun violence,” senior Amber Pasch said.
Esther Animalu is a senior at the World Journalism Preparatory School.