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In Their Own Words: Girls Share Why They Walked Out

In Their Own Words: Girls Share Why They Walked Out

“I participated and covered the event for my school’s media program.  It felt empowering to leave class. Even though we’re high school students, we stood up for what we believed in and made our voices matter.” - Meggie, 17, Illinois

“I walked out of my class and joined over 200 students in front of my school, where we listened to speeches from the four students who organized the walkout. Surrounded by my classmates who felt just as passionate as I did about the need for gun reform, I realized how my generation will act as agents of change for a better future.” - Naomi, 17, Maryland

“I don't think this is a cure-all, but it is a reminder to politicians and administrators and people in influential positions that students have a voice, they are united, and they want change. For me, the experience was both strange and unifying. I saw people I never thought would walkout, and yet, I also felt like we had only scratched the surface.” - Grace, 15, Massachusetts

“I believe that far, far, too many children and others have died from guns and mass shootings in the past few years. Gun reform is important to me not only as a student but also as an older sibling. I don’t want my sister to be afraid to be at school. My school fully supported walking out, and almost all the teachers participated. It felt great to know that we were doing something and I felt powerful because so many others were out there with me.” - Maxine, 13, Oregon

“I walked out because school shootings are not OK. I don't want to live in a country where I have to be focused at school on both learning *and* trying to make sure I don't get shot—by someone who should not have a gun whatsoever. We can be the change.” -Sanaa, 15, California

“In the minutes leading up to the walkout, I was so nervous I felt like I might throw up. However, I knew it was something I had to do. At 10, my friend and I left class and walked out the front doors of our school. There were maybe 30 students out there in total, and we all stood together and talked about the importance of gun control and making sure there is safety within our schools.” - Holly, 16, Virginia

“I walked out because teenagers are strong as hell and have voices that need to be heard; we cannot keep letting old, white guys make legislation regardless of what we want and what will be best for future generations. We can and will resist.” - Aislin, 16, California

“Hundreds from our school showed up to the flagpole, where we had tables for voter registration and were writing letters to our representatives. After we called for the moment of silence, our choir program broke the silence with ‘Amazing Grace.’ While the walkout at our school may not singlehandedly cause change in Congress, our school's community was impacted.” - Katie, 18, California

“I decided to walk out because something needs to change and we have to be the ones to do it. Those of us that were walking out decided to meet in the football field at 10 and to stand silently for 17 minutes. Some of us had signs and some of us just stood there. But we felt unified in calling for a change.” - Juliana, 17, Washington

“This January, a gun took the lives of two teenagers at a nearby high school in Kentucky. This hit too close to home for me and so many others in Lexington. I've spent the past few weeks working with many peers to organize Dunbar's #Enough walkout, and I couldn't be more proud of how it turned out. Walking out was nerve-wracking at first, but as more and more students appeared in the hallways, I knew that our efforts had succeeded.” - Divya, 17, Kentucky

“I decided to walk out because I deserve to feel safe in school and I deserve to not have to worry about my little brother when he goes to school. I was pleasantly surprised to see about one-sixth of the school outside.” - Saumya, 13, Georgia

“My school has been through a violent tragedy (a mass stabbing in 2014). Because of this, we chose to hold a ‘walk in.’ Our administration was very supportive of this student-led effort. It was one of the most respectful events I have ever been a part of. I'm proud of everyone who participated.” - Anonymous, 18

“In the weeks following the Parkland shooting, our administrators were hesitant to allow us to walkout without penalty. We were threatened with suspensions. This week, that the school announced it would condone the walkout, as long as it was ‘apolitical.’ I left the classroom with a poster I’d made that said, ‘#ENOUGH...SAFETY IS EVERY STUDENT'S RIGHT.’ Then I was stopped by my assistant principal, who stated that the message was ‘inappropriate, political,’ and could not be shown. I didn’t argue with him, but the interaction gave me a new perspective on how some adults view students who try to stand up for their beliefs. Even if what you believe in is completely justified, they will do what they can to silence you. However, if you are resilient and stand with others who share your cause, you have the potential to make a change—together.” - Mackenzie, 17, North Carolina


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