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The power of a student walkout

Word is that the students of Stoneman Douglas High School have talked about a student walkout to let Congress and the world know that they've had enough. They have invited students nationwide to join them. There's power in a well thought out, meaningful walk out. Let me share the story about one that made great sense in my school.

The school in my town regionalized with the neighboring town way before our school had the capacity to hold everyone. We started the school year with the cafeteria missing as it was going to be the location of the new building being added on. Food was served in a big tent in the parking lot. We had double sessions because everyone didn't fit. After a few weeks of this insanity which included workman walking through the building, crossing outside to get to classrooms, and bees in the tent, the students had had enough, enough to stage a walkout.

Here's how they did it. The upperclassmen set the time to coincide with the time the younger students were coming in for the day. Seeing their older peers walking out, they of course followed them. Off they all went, down the street on a march to the superintendent's office downtown.

Was it successful? You bet it was! The next day, the gym became the new temporary cafeteria. I was proud of our students, proud of the way they stood up peacefully for what was right. I think the Stoneman Douglas students are on the right path too because that may be the only way that they will be heard. I hope they have the support of the people in their lives and find a way to do it safely. This will be a part of their education they will never forget.

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