By Anthony Romanelli, opinion editor
After 17 people, many of them students, lost their lives to a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many of the survivors mobilized to campaign for stronger gun control. This protest has been emulated by multiple high schools across the nation, including a walkout being staged by Prospect students scheduled for this Wednesday.
The students planning the walkout have made clear that the event is a moment of silence for the victims, lasting for a total of 17 minutes. Each minute is symbolic of one of the victims in the Parkland shooting. Anyone is permitted to attend regardless of their stance on gun control, according to junior Annie Cimack, one of the leaders organizing the walkout.
“In an effort to keep the event nonpartisan, we won’t be requiring students to take political action to be part of the memorial,” Cimack said. “That’s not to say students can’t write to legislators to promote better gun control legislation, though.”
Students have set up Instagram and Twitter accounts specifically to spread word and encourage participation in the walkout, which will take place at around 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday 14. The walkout is not an official school event, and students are not allowed to use any social media or facilities belonging to the school to promote or advertise the walkout, due to the Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court ruling.
Despite this, students have still continued to express support for the walkout, whether through verbally pledging to be there, or making a supportive comment on one of the walkout’s official accounts. Students who choose not to be present for the walkout but still wish to show their support can sign a banner being sent around the commons during all lunch periods. The banner will be sent to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a symbol of support during this difficult time.
While district rules officially do not allow the school to support anything disrupting the school’s learning environment, such as protests, several teachers around the building have been changing their schedules to accommodate for what they believe will be a large number of temporary absences. According to Cimack, the school administration has been very cooperative and has continually looked out for the safety of the participants and students.
The walkout is being organized in solidarity with other schools whose student bodies have conducted similar walkouts. Cimack and the other student leaders see the walkout as an opportunity to encourage the student body to address issues in their communities.
“We’re asking people to walk out in memory of those lost in the Parkland shooting, and to work with us to encourage constructive change,” Cimack said.