Editor in Chief
Montour students will leave their classrooms at 10 am and join students from all across the country in the National School Walkout on March 14, intended to honor the 17 victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and bring attention to the growing incidence of gun violence in schools.
The National School Walkout was an idea started by the youth brand of the Women’s March, EMPOWER. The movement gained support and was spread through social media. More than 2,500 walkouts nationwide are currently planned for March 14, and although many schools are not allowing their students to walk, there are many, like Montour, that are.
Mr. Morgan, along with student leaders Tyler Digiulio, Sara Bathory, Lenel Berfield, Taylor Bobak, Hayley Gigliotti, and Lauren Scholle worked with Mr. Price to organize an event fully supported by the school that both faculty and students can participate in to honor the victims.
At the ceremony, the name of each the victims will be read aloud, followed by a moment of silence. Seventeen balloons will be released, one for each victim. Then all students and faculty participating will have the opportunity to sign a banner that will be sent to Stoneman Douglas High School to show Montour’s support.
Although there are many personal reasons for walking, Mr. Morgan stressed that the main focus of Montour’s walkout will be a memorial for the victims.
Student leader Tyler Digiulio was the one who came up with the idea of an organized walkout and brought the idea to Mr. Morgan. She is hoping that the walkout will honor the victims and bring about a change.
Digiulio commented, “I put myself in the position of a student at Stoneman Douglas High School and thought, ‘What if this happened at Montour? What would we do?’ At first it was scary because we are so unprepared. But something needs to change. That’s why I came up with the idea: we need change to happen. I think the National School Walkout is showing how people aren’t going to take no for an answer. We’re trying to make a difference and bring light to mental illness and gun control. Too many people are dying for something that could be changed.”
Mr. Morgan also hopes that the walkout will keep the conversation of gun violence and school safety flowing and will get more young people to be civically engaged with things they’re passionate about.
Digiulio said, “Although we’re high school kids, we’re proving to people that we have a voice and we can use it. People are going to have to start listening to what we have to say.”