Exactly one month after the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fla., students across the nation walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. on March 14 and stayed out for at least 17 minutes—one minute for every victim. Some students walked out to raise their voices for greater gun regulation and increasing campus safety, while others simply wanted to honor the memories of their fallen peers.
The 20 Union County High School students who participated were a part of the latter group, collaborating with school administrators to conduct the walkout as safely as possible. The students convened in the gymnasium at the school and interlocked arms for 17 minutes of silence. They stood still, silent and solemn for the entire time, with no phones or distractions. Officers from the Union County Sheriff's Office stood by to make sure no one misused the time or caused any issues.
Since the Parkland shooting and the copycat threats that rippled from it in the following weeks, police and sheriff presence has increased at Union County schools. The school board is looking into hiring a part-time resource officer to ensure student safety in all schools in the district.
The UCHS students were vehement that for them, the walkout was not political, even if the national movement is.
“The point of this for us wasn't to make a political statement or take a side on an issue,” said sophomore class president Carson Eversole. “This was to show our support and give our condolences to the families of those who were lost.”