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Ichabod Crane Middle and High School Students Participate in "National School Walkout"

 

(March 14, 2018) Ichabod Crane High School and Middle School students organized events on Mar. 14, 2018, the one month anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, to show solidarity with Parkland by remembering the victims and sharing their perspective about the need for a safe school environment.

At 10 a.m., interested students joined students from across the country for the "National School Walkout" in assemblies at each school for 17 minutes, one minute for each life lost at that school on that day.

At the middle school, the majority of all 7th and 8th grade students and teachers were assembled in the cafeteria. Principal Tim Farley gave a brief introduction and thanked Nikolas Christian, Lily Siver, Abby Millar, Sophia Pantoja, Bella Rivero, and Ashley Ames for taking the lead on this initiative. Sofia started the assembly by reading off the names of the 17 victims. She spoke specifically about one of the heroes that day, Peter Wang, who helped so many survive, but did not survive himself. Abby spoke next with a powerful speech on the importance of being kind to one another on a daily basis. "Today and everyday, you have the power to make someone's day brighter or darker. Which one will it be?" Lily Siver spoke about the importance of uniting and quoted Hellen Keller: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." They ended with a moment of silence for the victims and the students walked back to their classes. The assembly lasted exactly 17 minutes.

"Today was one of those moments that a Principal dreams of. I was so proud of the student leaders/organizers of this event," Principal Tim Farley said. "They were focused on the victims of the Parkland tragedy and spoke so eloquently on this watershed moment. They are determined to stop these incidents from continuing by pushing the message of kindness, to put an end to bullying, to reach out to kids they wouldn't normally reach out to. Their message was clear - WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!"

Also at 10 a.m. at the high school, students who chose to attend the rally came down to the gymnasium. Student organizers and presenters were Hunter Broockmann, Celia Gagnon, Madison Wagner, Olivia Chandler, Lauren Bertrand and Anna O'Shea. Celia began the event with an introduction and had all those attending share a moment of silence. Madison spoke in honor of those lost in Parkland, Florida as well as other schools over the years. She asked students to stand up, speak up and be part of the change that needs to happen. Olivia Chandler spoke about their generation needing to work together to make change. She encouraged students not to accept school violence as the norm and reach out to politicians and leaders to make change. Anna encouraged students to have meaningful conversations with friends, family members, administrators, legislators, to work together to make change to keep schools safe. Anna reminded students that they hold more power than they realize and that their voices do matter. Lauren closed the event by thanking the students for attending and being a part of the change that needs to happen. She reminded the students that the conversation must keep going and does not end today. She encouraged students to speak up for change. The students were dismissed and quickly returned to classes.

"Today was truly an impressive and memorable moment for us. Our students who organized this rally were well organized, mature, and confident," said ICHS Principal Craig Shull. "They spoke from the heart and with conviction, letting their peers, our staff, and our community know that school safety is paramount and that all of us, whether we are students in school, or adults making the decisions, can work together to make a difference."

He added, "They sent a message of empowerment to their peers and a message of solidarity to all who have been impacted by school violence; in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere throughout our nation. I am proud of the way that our students conducted themselves today. I think all students at Ichabod Crane know that positive changes will be made."

 

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