Miami Valley students to walk out of classes in support of Parkland shooting victims
MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) – Wednesday morning, students across the Miami Valley will walkout of their schools to show their support for the students who lost their lives in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. FOX 45 is learning that some local schools are on board, but some are not. The political motivations behind the national movement can feature gun control discussions, which his making for a polarizing response.
Students at Fairmont High School are taking part. High School Principal Tyler Alexander said it’s not the districts job to force their political opinions on the students.
“Students should have a voice, they are going to be the next set of leaders in this country,” Alexander said, ”If it’s done respectfully people will listen, if it’s done the wrong way people will not listen.”
It’s not about the politics for Fairmont, but to say enough is enough.
“I think it really opened our eyes,” Senior Cayla Teeters said.
She is helping to coordinate walkout efforts at Fairmont. They will walk out, have a moment of silence, ring their spirit bell 17 times for the lost students, read their names, and then have speakers.
“This just keeps happening, and we need to do something about it,” Teeters said.
Students in Beavercreek will also walk out. Like Fairmont, it is voluntary. Students approached administrators and said they wanted to take part.
“We want to do something, we don’t want this to be political,” Ryan Gilding with Beavercreek Schools said students told him, “We don’t want to get caught up in all the hype. We want to show empathy for that community.”
Beavercreek students will gather on the football field, but elementary students will not take part.
“It can be upsetting just mentioning it,” Gilding said of elementary students.
It was only last year that West Liberty Salem had a school shooting. Logan Cole nearly lost his life. He took to Facebook to voice his thoughts on the movement.
“I feel like it’s disrespectful to the victims of the Parkland Shooting to use the tragedy to further a certain political groups agenda,” Cole said.
Instead of a walkout, Cole will be helping the school host a vigil during lunch. The school is choosing to stop all walkouts. Any student who does walkout, will get at least one detention.
“There’s a lot of debate on what people believe one side or the other,” Teeter said.
When it comes to gun control, political experts are unsure how the movement will play out.
“You can engage with them, interact with them, but no where are politicians obligated to follow along with the policy goals of high school students,” Cedarville professor Mark Caleb Smith said.
Miamisburg does not have a formal walkout planned, but students will wear ribbons to support the students in Parkland. If students do walk out, the school will accommodate them.