Students Walk Out to Honor Parkland Victims

On April 20, 19 years after the Columbine school shooting, students of Olathe West came together to remember the 17 victims of the Majory Stoneman Douglas school shooting. At 9:30 a.m. students who chose to participate walked out of school and went to the track to join in what was called a nonpolitical protest.


Though the protest was encouraged to be nonpolitical, some students still voiced their beliefs against gun violence by making signs and wearing orange colored ribbons. The color to advocate for better gun laws is safety orange, which was the color some students chose to wear. Some students also chose to buy t-shirts made for the walkout. The shirts listed the names of all 17 victims.


Junior Averi Mcgaha was one of the students who led the walkout and created it as a nonpolitical protest with the support of the administration. She wanted to create a healthy and positive environment for everyone.


“I realize that there’s a greater purpose because I’ve seen the other schools and they’re just saying anti-gun this, but me personally I have an open mind and I like to see both sides on why people say it. That’s why this walkout’s neutral,” said Mcgaha.


While the walkout was nonpolitical, Mcgaha still wanted the student’s voices to be heard.


“The purpose of the walkout is so the students feel that they can be heard, but we’re gonna be heard in a positive way, not a negative way,” said Mcgaha.


One of the students who chose to walk out was Sophomore Mairin Warner, who thinks we need better gun control. She was also there to take photos for her photography class project.


“I thought [the walkout] went good but I think a lot of people used it as a way to get out of class and I think the fact they didn’t make it political kind of ruined the fact that it was a walkout,” said Warner. “It was more just like a remembrance kind of thing.”


Sophomore Avery Metcalf felt that students could have been more respectful during the walkout.


“I think the walkout itself was fine, but I just feel like there should have been more rules I guess, there needs to be more respect about this because it was a death situation,” said Metcalf.


There was no consequence for deciding to walk out, and students who participated were not counted absent or tardy. Some students felt that school involvement defeated the purpose of the walkout.


“I think they should have kept the school completely out of it and said indirectly you can use the track, but not sponsored it or anything, and then it could have been as political as we want and then it would have been actually a walkout,” said Warner.