Why students said #Enough on National School Walkout Day


Nirbhay Vig

Kevin Jacobson (‘19), who spoke before the crowd of students at the walkout, reflected, “I was so worried leading up to the walkout, not knowing how many people were going to show up. Then when we had so many, I was so excited that I was able to share [my opinions].”

Aparna Jayashankar , Editor-in-Chief

After 17 students and staff lost their lives in the devastating Parkland shooting, America’s youth united on Wednesday, March 14 in the National School Walkout. Brookfield Central and Brookfield East both participated in the walkout, with BC having a turnout of over 140 students.

As soon as they heard about the Parkland school massacre, students in JSA knew they wanted to take action to spread gun violence awareness. They partnered with Student Council to organize a peaceful protest on National School Walkout Day. While numerous schools across the country faced repercussions for attempting to walkout, Brookfield Central administrators were receptive to the idea and supported the students’ efforts.

“I appreciate the manner in which students conducted themselves,” said Mr. Gruetzmacher. “It’s important that as you go through life, if you want change in whatever the situation is, you need to speak up and voice your opinion and position in an appropriate way, because that’s where change comes from.”

The day before the walkout, students gathered in the library after school to make posters. With colorful markers spread over tables, they set to work. Their posters displayed phrases like “Enough is Enough” and conveyed statistics concerning gun violence.

At 10:00 a.m. on March 14, students marched out of class and assembled at the sundial. Multiple students stepped up to deliver passionate speeches and voice their opinions. Aritra Chakraborty (‘18), Victoria Lopez (‘18), and Ravina Sachdev (‘19) called for an end to gun violence and for legislators to pass comprehensive gun reform. Lindsey Retzlaff (‘18) also led students in a chant demanding action to prevent gun violence.

“It was enlightening to be surrounded by open-minded people who weren’t promoting or blaming a certain political party,” Sachdev reflected. “We the students were united behind one cause, and it was amazing to see that my peers were as passionate about it as I was. The unified and tolerant nature that I witnessed on the morning of March 14 was breathtaking. I greatly appreciated our commitment to civility in a time of societal tension.”

Students had different reasons for why they chose to participate in the walkout. “I think that school shootings happen too often, and it is a huge problem in America considering that we have the most mass shootings in the world,” said Deeptansha Dwivedi (‘18). “We also have the most guns in the world, with more guns than people. We need to give more attention to this issue, and I felt that by participating in the walkout, I was helping to raise awareness.”

Lopez, one of the students who organized the walkout, said “I think that we tend to forget about gun violence in schools located in less affluent areas. I feel like having action from Congress can help stop these problems which are too easily ignored. It’s important to show that is up and now is the time for change. That’s why I participated in the walkout.”
After a tragedy like the Parkland shooting, it is natural for students and families to worry about school safety. However, with students boldly pushing for an end to gun violence, the future looks hopeful for many. Sachdev said, “This experience truly made me believe that our generation is unstoppable and that we will do great things.”