Canby students walk out in solidarity with Parkland
This morning, students from Baker Prairie Middle School and Canby High School joined thousands of schools across the nation in the #Enough National School Walkout as they walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. in an act of solidarity with Parkland, Florida students and to stand up against gun violence.
"We are very proud of our students," Baker Prairie Principal Jennifer Turner said. "They were quiet and respectful."
Prior to the walkout, Baker Prairie Eagle Council (the school's student leadership) read a letter to all students.
"We are participating for 2 reasons," the letter said. "To honor those who passed, and to show that we want to create a safer future in schools."
Today, March 14, is the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many students around the nation left their classrooms for 17 minutes in remembrance of the 17 victims in Parkland.
According to the National School Walkout website, the act was for all people who have experienced gun violence.
At the prompting of a bell, Baker Prairie students who chose to participate went outside to the front of the school and observed 17 seconds of silence for each of the 17 victims. Another bell rang at 10:08 a.m. and students returned to class.
For high school students, the walkout fell during finals week, but still hundreds left their classrooms and walked out to the stadium anyway. Principal Greg Dinse asked the students to observe a moment of silence and then opened up the microphone for students to speak. Several did so, and after 17 minutes, Dinse offered a brief message to students, noting that school safety begins with them and encouraging them to exercise their right to vote when they are old enough.
In a letter to parents and guardians, Superintendent Trip Goodall shared the district's stance.
"As a district, we support our students' ability to exercise their First Amendment rights," Goodall said in the letter. "While we cannot sponsor student protests, we understand that student leaders may choose to organize a local school walkout in coordination with national events."