National Walkout Day: Walk Out or Walk Up? Where Do You Stand? by Renee Herren
One month after the tragic shooting in Parkland, Fla., students across the country are planning walkouts to demand an end to gun violence. Thousands of students plan to walk out of classrooms at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes to honor the 17 killed in the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and to make a nationwide appeal for changes in gun legislation. Many school districts have made specific plans to accommodate the demonstrations and others have warned that disciplinary actions will be taken if they disrupt classes with the protest.
On the flip side, some students, parents and educators are proposing an alternative: Walk Up Not Out. “Walk Up Not Out” proponents say students should try harder to reach out with friendliness and compassion to their more solitary peers, those who may be excluded, overlooked, even bullied. By moving out of their comfort zones and helping their peers feel more welcome, students could potentially head off an outbreak of violence.
Walk out? Walk up? I hope students feel empowered to do both. Where do you stand?