The Roar

United Against Violence

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United Against Violence

One month after the Parkland Florida shooting, students walked out of class as a part of the nation-wide protest

All across the nation, students of all ages stood up at 10 a.m. on March 14 and left their respective schools. At Potomac Falls, students surrounded the panther statue and huddled in silence for 17 minutes to honor the lives lost during the Parkland school shooting. Organized by junior Magdalena Ray, a group of 35 students joined together to send their message.

“I think we all have the basic right to feel safe wherever we are, especially in a school building, because no one should be sitting in a classroom being worried about someone coming in and shooting them,” said Ray.

As the students exited the building, they were met by English teacher Donna Pomponio to sign up for detention for skipping class. Pomponio does not plan to punish the students more harshly than normal for exercising their right to peacefully protests. All of the students out there also felt that the punishment was more than worth it.

“It is their right to protest; it is a civil right that is guaranteed to them. It’s part of the American process, and I’m so proud of our kids for doing that, and all the kids nationwide for stepping up and stepping out of class,” said Pomponio.

Other schools nearby had more of a turnout, but students are hoping to have a bigger, more organized event for the next national walkout in just over a month. Despite the lack of coordination, all the students that did participate were dedicated and stayed outside despite the freezing winds.

“17 minutes in the cold is better than 17 minutes hiding from a gunman,” said Ray.

On April 20, there will be another national walkout to honor the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. History teacher Kira Hoilman and Pomponio will be helping to organize this walkout and held an interest meeting earlier today for those who want to participate. If you missed the interest meeting, you can still get involved by joining the remind group @pfhsw, which will be sending out dates of future meetings and events. The group encourages anyone and everyone to get involved.

“No matter what your views are, you should stand up for [them]. Don’t let the adults that tell you that you’re just a kid and you don’t know what you’re talking about deter you from stating your opinion,” said Ray.

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