This morning, Algonquin students participated in the National Walkout protest. But this wasn’t a storm out. Organizers used social media to share an organized plan for the mostly-silent event.
On Facebook, organizers clarified that their beef wasn’t with their school’s administration:
To be clear, the walkout is not against the school administration and it is not organized by the administration. This is a peaceful, student-run protest to in support of the Parkland community and the movement to end violence. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions/concerns.
In order to participate, students were required to sign an online pledge before midnight yesterday.* Although billed as a 17 minute walkout, another 10 minutes were built in to get from and back to classes. And students were invited to a one hour forum with State Senator Jamie Eldridge later in the morning.
The event agenda stressed silence but included some outdoor speeches:
- 9:57 am – registered students were to silently rise and meet outside
- 10:00 – 10:04 am: moment of silence in honor of victims of the Parkland, FL shooting
- 10:05 – 10:10 am: student speeches focused on student empowerment and student-led change
- 10:11 – 10:16 am: silence, with reading aloud of the victims’ names during the last minute of silence
- 10:18 – 10:24 am: return to classes silently
To continue advocacy for their cause, follow up activities were also encouraged. One of those was Eldridge addressing students and answering questions during 5th period (11:00 am – 12:00 pm which overlapped lunch). Topics to be covered included mental health and gun laws.
In addition, students could use their lunch time to participate in a voter registration drive, a letter writing campaign (to victims and politicians), and recording of video condolence messages.
*I wasn’t able to view a copy of the student pledge. It was made available online to students with school email accounts.