GRC students participate in nationwide walkout

Published 8:23 am Thursday, March 15, 2018

About 100 GRC students gathered in the courtyard Wednesday morning as part of a nationwide walkout to honor the lives of 17 students who died in the Parkland, Fla., shooting.

GRC students stood outside for 17 minutes, one minute for each life that was taken in the Parkland shooting.

GRC was one of several schools across the region that participated in the walkout.

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Wednesday marks exactly a month since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The protest was held at 10 a.m. local time across time zones.

GRC Senior Ciera Kelley said she was thrilled so many students participated and honored the lives lost to violence. Kelley made it clear the point locally wasn’t to advocate for stricter gun legislation but simply to acknowledge the victims of school violence across the nation.

“We’re only nine weeks into 2018,” Kelley said. “We’ve had almost 14 school shootings. I just figured it was a way to get the school to come out and a lot of people did.”

Senior Dezire Johnson helped Kelley organize the walkout. Both Johnson and Kelley agreed schools needed more security to make students feel safer such as placing metal detectors in schools.

Johnson said there also needs to better treatment offered for people with mental illnesses as well as training to recognize the signs.

Kelley said no one could anticipate when or where a school shooting could happen.

“No one knew all those other school shootings were going to (happen),” Kelley said. “No one knows if our school (will). No one knows.”

In a tweet posted to the GRCCards Twitter account, GRC advised students to ‘Walk Up’ not out.

“Along with many other high schools, GRC encourages students to Walk Up, not out. Walk up to 14 classmates and 3 teachers and say something kind. Honor the lives of those lost by walking up not out. #walkupnotout”

Some schools in Kentucky gave students detention for “defying authority” while participating in the national walk out. North Oldham High School gave more than 100 students detention for leaving class, according to the Courier-Journal.

During the last few minutes of the walkout, senior Kathryn Gallenstein asked the crowd to take a moment of silence to remember the 17 students who had their life taken in February.

“Life is a gift,” Gallenstein said. “A lot of people had their lives taken unfairly. Take a moment and be grateful for your life. Have a moment of silence, please, and be grateful for what you have.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0015.

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