Walk Up Not Out


Thalia Gonzalez, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 14, the Women’s March Youth Empowerment Group organized a school walkout that would happen nationwide. This walkout was a silent protest that would be in honor of the 17 lost in Parkland, Florida. Students and teachers would walk outside of their schools at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes, each minute signifying a life lost.

When March 14 finally came, something new was brought to the table. People still wanted to honor the lives, but in a better way. Teachers had came up with a new name for the event, the National School Walk Up. The school walk up is all about being nice and helping others. Walk up to someone who sits alone and ask him/her to join your group. Walk up to someone who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hers/his. Walk up to your teachers and thank them. Walk up to someone and just be nice.

The walk up was to show that walking out of your school was not going to stop anything or bring more gun control laws. What could help is being there for someone and helping them, because you never know who could be getting bullied to a point of doing such a horrendous thing. Not always is the school shooter a student, but frequently it is, so the school walk up was a way of trying to turn that around.

One school, Arbor Preparatory High School, gave out 17 sticky notes to each student to symbolize the 17 lives lost in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. The students were encouraged to write 14 notes for students and 3 for adults to make their day a little brighter. The notes were then placed onto every locker, not one locker was left untouched.

Aquan Grant, Arbor Preparatory High School principal says, “The idea for walk ups was to encourage each other, and we wanted everyone to be proactive, but take the opportunity to strengthen our educational community”  

In our own school, Mrs. Smith, and the Key Club are doing a very similar thing as to what Arbor Preparatory High School did, “Each member of Key Club will be given 6 students and 2 teachers from the school to ‘study’ for a couple weeks. One evening after school we will then place a personal sticky note on the locker (or teacher’s door) of everyone in the school.  One of the ways to ‘walk up’ is to get to know others in the school. We have so many talented people in our building and getting to really know others and let them know that they are valued and appreciated is important,” says Mrs. Smith.

The walk up should not only be something done on one day, we should always trying to brighten other people’s days and make them smile. Like Mrs. Smith says, “It does not have to cost money to do nice things and be a good person.”

The walk up seemed to be a success, and to most gave a better approach for understanding what the walk out was about. This also was a way for students to help without getting an unexcused absence on their record. Next on this journey, we have the March for Our Lives campaign in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 24 at noon. There will also be sister marches all around the world for people who can not travel to D.C. These people refused to go unheard, and will keep fighting for what they believe in.