Our Take on the Walkout at EMS


A picture while we had a moment of silence

     After the Parkland shooting, students around the country showed their support in the form of a walkout. I’ve talked about the shooting in the past, and the Emporia Middle School decided to participate in the Walkout. The original purpose was to honor the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting. Although, this is not what it was for some schools. It turned into a protest against gun violence, and the NRA (National Rifle Association). I think this shooting was kind of a wake up call for all teens around the U.S. They realized how important these types of things are and decided to take action.

     The teachers and staff of the Emporia Middle School had a hard time knowing what was going to happen. Obviously, kids were going to do the Walkout. But the administration was worried about where they would go and what they would do. The administration decided not to say no or force everyone to go out, they just let it happen. So, they made a map of where administrators would be standing to direct kids to the practice football field. At the field, there was a podium. Although, we didn’t use the podium and microphone instead we used a megaphone. Once all who wanted to participate were gathered at the practice field, our head principal, Mr. Bazan, told everyone that we would have one minute of complete silence for the lives lost on February 14th. After that we were allowed to take the megaphone and say a couple things.

     Everyone that spoke had very strong opinions. We didn’t say much about guns, but we did say a lot about how we should treat each other. Many people talked such as I and Dylan Kosinski, a seventh grader, and Sarah McDonald, an 8th grader. Later, I  decided to interview these two because of how inspiring and powerful their speech was. I found both of their attitudes towards the subject very uplifting and motivating. I asked them three questions about their speech and their views on the Walkout.


Q: Why did you decide to walkout?



Sarah: ¨I chose to walk out because I saw it as an opportunity to make a difference. There’s something exhilarating about making a difference in your community¨


Dylan: ¨I decided to walkout because I think that it was a matter than needed to be brought to people’s attention¨


Q: Why did you decide to speak to everyone?



Sarah: ¨I decided to speak to everyone because I decided enough was enough. I was tired of kids being scared to come to school, and of kids making sick jokes about school shootings¨

Dylan: ¨I spoke out because I wanted to be someone who could say what was on everyone’s mind at the time¨


Q: Based on what you saw from the high school walkout, what did you think about theirs compared to ours?



Sarah: ¨I definitely could hear them better, so I think that we should have been louder than they were. Also, I really wish protest signs had been allowed because I think they can help get points across. I know not everyone’s comfortable speaking and so it’d be good for people to express themselves as well even when they aren’t comfortable speaking¨


Dylan: ¨I think that ours was much more civilized, and more focused on the topic of being kind to each other, but not as much about the actual topic of gun violence, as the high schools was.¨


     The high school looked at the walkout differently.  They did have a moment of silence and many people talked about the same types of things that the middle school had talked about. But they also protested the NRA. They were chanting and were carrying posters. The main difference was that the high school students had organized their walkout, unlike the middle schoolers.  They talked about it with the administrators and they planned a set place and time for everything to take place.


     Because of the walkout, I think it opened the eyes of students here in Emporia. Everyone was inspired by the things people had said and everyone realized how important it is to pay attention to what is happening in the world. If we want something to change, we have to make an effort towards that change.