Students Rally Together to Share Opinions

Holding hands, students stand in silence around the names of the victims. From left: Emily La Rosa (12), Lila Sage (9), Olivia Neuzil (11), Laia López Rigol (11), Aleah Vaske (12).

Madalynn Burke , Staff

Twenty-seven West Delaware students joined the thousands of other students voicing their opinions on both mental health and gun laws by walking out of school.

The walkout began at 11 a.m., March 22. Students walked out of their second hour classrooms and congregated around the flagpole discussing their concerns.

Leaders placed 165 index cards sporadically on the pavement. Each card displayed the name of a student killed in a school shooting. This was impactful to coordinator junior Hope Straley. “It was a physical way of showing they were actual people, not just a number,” Straley said.

Several students prepared speeches. Freshman Taylor Hammer, one student who spoke, said, “We can change the future for us and many others behind us. It’s a human right for students like you and me to receive an education and be safe.”

Senior Aleah Vaske, coordinator and speaker of the event, said, “I wish we could live in a world where everyone can carry a gun. If guns are affecting people’s right to live, then that needs to be changed.”

After the speakers, junior Laia López Rigol played the song, “The Song of the Birds” by Pau Casals, on her violin. The song symbolizes peace and freedom, two of America’s values. “I thought it’d be a nice way to remember the victims,” Rigol said.

Just like with any other protest there are several different sides. Senior Alex Zumbach, along with three other students, participated in the walkout but with different opinions. Zumbach said, “I believe we have a lot more common interest then we do (opposing views). I just feel like the way we want to go about fixing the problem is different.”

Principal Tim Felderman didn’t have any worries going into the walkout. He said the students worked with him and were very open with their plans.

“Students have the right to congregate and express their opinions on different topics. We support their right to do so,” Felderman said.