17 Minute Walkout Honors Victims

Pema Khandro, Staff Writer

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Centennial’s support of a nationwide 17-minute walkout is occurring tomorrow, at 10 am.

Student Council member Mary Karam is in charge of the event being held at Centennial.

“Well, I feel like it’s kind of a statement outside student discretion. We’re not necessarily encouraging or discouraging. We don’t want to tell people to do or not do it,” said Karam.

“We’re expressing our strong opinions, expressing discontent with how administration has been going.”

“If you do go, you might be marked tardy. You leave second period early and get late to third,” she said.

Seventeen students died in a shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by alleged shooter Nikolaz Cruz, a former student. Enormous amounts of people expressed their opinions towards this incident, with many calling for gun reform. Other sides claimed that guns aren’t the issue, the gun holders are.

The graphic video a student who witnessed the shooting uploaded has attained nearly 5 million views on YouTube alone. Videos were uploaded by other students as well while still inside the building showcasing the event.

A day after the incident, Women’s March Youth Empower initialized the plan to have a nationwide walk out in protest of gun reform. Many high schools across the nation are participating this Wednesday in a silent walk out and experts are predicting as many 185,000 students are expected to show up.

District Superintendent Dr. Paul Coakley released a statement to staff members concluding, “All school rules apply and attendance will be taken before and after the events. Students may not leave campus and must follow school protocols. Should they choose otherwise, they will be unsupervised and unexcused.”

Neighboring schools such as David Douglas High School are holding walk-outs as well on the corresponding day. Here’s what they had to say:

“The main purpose of this walk-out is to protest the epidemic of gun violence in the United States and to show our politicians, local and nationwide, that we will no longer remain passive and therefore complicit in the murders of our peers. We deserve to feel safe no matter where we are, but especially at school,” said Lynn Noriega, organizer at Douglas.

“By staging nationwide protests we hope to call our politicians to action to change the current laws and make guns and gun accessories such as bump stocks less accessible,” said Noriega.

Anyone who goes to Centennial High School is free to join the event. Another walk out is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.

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