Dale Students Participate in National School Walkout

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By Grace Fields, Knightly News online editor-in-chief

Wednesday, March 14 marked one month since the Parkland Shooting. 17 students and staff members were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by a former student. It also marked the day that students all over the nation participated in the National School Walkout.

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The idea of the walkout originally stemmed within EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March. It is also served as the national voice motivating people to participate. They encourage students and staff to join them in saying #ENOUGH.

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The walkout serves as both a memorial and a protest action. Participating students and staff across the United States walked out of their schools Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m. and stood in silence for 17 minutes honoring those who lost their lives during the shooting. They also pressed lawmakers to make a change with the current gun control laws, demanding they be even more strict.

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Participants demand Congress to ban assault weapons, require universal background checks before gun sales, and pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.

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Thomas Dale was one of the many schools who participated in this nationwide event. Once 10 a.m. came around, a sea of students flooded the halls at main campus. Everyone was headed to the same place: the football field.

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Outside, students began to walk around the track in silence. Many students put together signs to protest against the gun control laws while others had signs that served as tribute to a certain student or faculty member from Marjory Stoneman Douglas who had lost their life.

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As people finished their lap around the track, a prayer circle began to form. The small circle soon grew into a large circle of almost all the Dale student participants. Students joined hands and bowed their heads in a silent prayer to the survivors, families, and lost souls of this tragic shooting.

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During the last few minutes of the event, students lined up on different sides of the track and shared a chilling final moment of silence. Everyone seemed to share the same emotion; sorrow, loss, anger, confusion, hope.

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We all wanted the same thing. We wanted justice for these 17 students and staff members. We wanted someone who could do something about this to actually stand up and do something. We wanted to feel safe in our schools again. We wanted change.

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Since this event, our current generation of youths have not silenced their voices and don’t plan on doing so any time soon. Protests like March For Our Lives have happened and many more are being organized throughout the country. The youths are taking over once and for all.

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