Shawnee Students Walk Out For School Safety


Sean Etter, Editor-in-Chief

On March 14th, 2018, students across the Lenape Regional High School District participated in the National Student Walkout. The Walkout was organized by EMPOWER, a youth branch of the Women’s March organization. The Walkout came about in the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed, including students and faculty.

At Shawnee, students participating in the Walkout braved the cold morning weather to walk laps around the school track. Whether they were there to protest gun violence, honor those who died in Parkland, show support for school safety, or just to get out of class, there was a significant student turnout.

The main part of the Walkout took place over 17 minute of silence, 1 minute of silence for each of the victims of the Parkland shooting. Every minute, the Shawnee students who helped to organize the school’s walkout would read a short biography of one of the victims of the shooting.

After the 17 minutes, a few students read speeches over the loud speaker. They made calls for school security, compassion for each other and for people who are going through tough times in life, mental health treatment, and for reasonable steps toward gun safety. The students who organized the event were also handing out flyers at the track entrance for various websites and organizations promoting school safety, gun laws, and mental health.

The Shawnee students who led the organization of the walkout included Seniors Brett Johnson, Alana Miller, Aidan Khelil,, Georgia Larzelere, and Chloe Van Syckel, as well as Juniors Jamie Lee, Marketa McCabe,, Mairi Scholefield, Josh Atwater, and Faith McNaughton.

Aidan Khelil, one of the Seniors who helped to organize the walk out, said that the Walk Out was a good first step, but more steps need to be taken to ensure that this issue does not quickly fade from students’ minds. He believes that things will only change if there is a consistent interest in bringing about that change. He hopes that students and the school administration will take more steps to keep the discussion alive.