Students Participate in #NationalSchoolWalkout Day
By: David Czarlinsky Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
The Lynn community gathered together for 17 minutes at Lynn University on March 14 to raise awareness to the gun violence epidemic in America and to remember the citizens who have lost their lives in mass shootings over the last 19 years.
Throughout the peaceful demonstration, students took a moment of silence to remember the 17 people who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, a month before the walkout. The students leading the walkout did not stop there, an additional 14 students joined the event and read a list of 71 mass shootings in America.
Starting with Columbine in 1999, the reading took about eight minutes. The 14 students read every shooting in the country that took four or more lives.
“It was super powerful to watch the community react to hearing all of the shootings,” said Baylee Howe, walkout organizer. “We got so much positive feedback from the community saying how impacted they were by so many different shootings.”
More than 300 members of the Lynn community walked out of work and school at 10 a.m. to show their support and to take a stand. The overall purpose of the walkout was to spread awareness of #ENOUGH, a hashtag that has spread across the country to help put an end to gun violence. The three students organizing the walkout stated, “Enough is Enough” multiple times throughout the walkout.
“It was incredible to see the students take an initiative to make this happen,” said Dr. Theresa Gallo, assistant dean of Student Affairs at Lynn. “It was a privilege to help them throughout the process and see these three students grow. Hopefully, the conversation does not stop here and our community will take a stand on the local level, the state level and in national elections as well to stand up to gun violence.”
Lourdes Rubero, walkout organizer, allowed the Lynn community to see the perspective of the effect a school shooting has. Although it is impossible to know the complete feel, Rubero stated, “Do me a favor and look around… The 14 students whose lives were taken will never reach this stage in their life and follow their dreams. We are coming together as a community to say gun violence needs to stop, we are here to say enough is enough.”
There were many other opportunities attendees were able to take part in after the walkout as well. The organizers arranged for a banner that read the word “#ENOUGH” and students, staff and faculty signed their names. The banner will be hung up in an education building for the remainder of the semester.
Additionally, there was a table on hand which allowed students to register to vote and a table with wristband sales going to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas cause. The students began selling the wristbands the week following the mass shootings and sold them through March 14. The sales resulted in more than $1,800.