Laura told me about her National Student Walk Out experience yesterday. She was very somber; sad. All students who wanted to were ushered by 10 a.m. into the gym of Hudson High School, to stand in silence for seventeen minutes. She often heard remarked, “This isn’t a walk out, it’s a lock down.” There was a police officer at every door, to prevent anyone leaving.
Laura and I discussed her dismay over her school’s lack of support. I told her the civil rights of any student who did plan on walking out of school had been violated (she was shocked), but it appeared to me more a problem of apathy. No adult had planned this event, or stressed the opportunity the students had to organize an event. It seemed to have snuck up and crept on by, unnoticed.
However, we continued, high school is the beginning of her adult life. It was a shame she’d missed an opportunity here to organize some solidarity, but on the other hand, she’d learned that waiting for a teacher to fulfill a promise to help them had been an empty promise, and now she knew she could do better in future, if she wished to. And, part of her college selection criteria should be campus activism.
In the afternoon I had a phone call from the Akron Beacon Journal reporter who quoted me in their weekend coverage of events being planned around the area. The photos of the Beacon reporter already were available to her, and she wanted to know how I thought our unique event went. “Did we chant?” she wanted to know.
I said we stood in support of the students in Florida; we were protesting nothing. We felt it important her readers knew we supported the next generation, and their effort to end gun violence. She remembered I had said the gathering in Peninsula came about because I’d received an unsatisfactory answer from the Hudson school district, where my granddaughter was in high school, about their anticipated response to a National Student Walk Out. Did I know anything about their response; she had not yet contacted them.
I was happy to give her Laura’s version of the Hudson response, and sad to see nothing about Hudson reported this morning. That means I have letters to editors to write. I have three grandchildren left in high school. Beth posted video of both Caroline and Francis’ schools marching out of school as a group to honor the protest.
Yesterday was not lost on any of my grandchildren.
A group of 37 stood along Route 303 in front of the old Boston Township school in support of National School Walkout Day on Wednesday. (Phil Masturzo/Beacon Journal/Ohio.com)