March 14, 2018

When students around the country walked out of school on Wednesday, March 14, to protest gun violence in schools, hundreds of IPS students joined them. Most of the district’s middle and high schools participated, along with several elementary schools.

Demonstrations ranged from 17 minutes of silence in remembrance of the 17 students and adults shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, to marches and chants complete with signs calling on lawmakers to toughen gun laws.

Middle school students at Center for Inquiry School 2 chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, gun violence has got to go,” as they marched from school along the Cultural Trail to the American Legion Mall. Once they arrived, students staged a lie-in as eighth-grader Carly S. slowly read the names of those killed in the Florida school shooting.

“We can have sensible gun laws while still respecting the Second Amendment, and I believe that is what we need,” said Carly.

“It’s not just Florida, we have to recognize that the shootings impact all of us,” said Rosetta, a student at Arsenal Technical High School. “That could have been us, so it’s important that we stand together as a school and show support for them and for each other as well.”

At Arsenal Tech, several students made speeches to a crowd of hundreds standing around the fountain at the center of campus after walking out of school in peaceful protest.

“I think it’s very important because parents shouldn’t have to go through this, and parents shouldn’t have to worry about sending their kids to school, then hear that their kid has died or their kid is in danger,” said Prizilla, a Tech student.

A similar sentiment was shared by other IPS students who were passionate about making a point to those who have the power to change laws.

“This could have been us at Shortridge. We could have lost 17 of our students,” said Ranya A., a sophomore at Shortridge High School. “And for us to not feel safe, this is something lawmakers should pay attention to.”

“It just keeps happening. It keeps happening over and over. People need to start realizing that there needs to be change,” said Zhy’yon H., a sophomore at Northwest High School.

“The NRA and President Trump needs to know that we are students and we’re still kids. If they don’t care about our lives, who will?” said Salma C., a senior at Broad Ripple High School, while holding a sign that read: “Our blood will be on your hands.” 

At the end of the day, students in kindergarten through eighth-grade at Center for Inquiry School 27 summed up the dialogue with an event dedicated to kindness. Students, staff and teachers wore white T-shirts and wrote kind words and phrases on each other’s shirts. These shirts will become part of the school’s regular uniform to continue spreading the kindness that was shared on Wednesday.

“If we spread more kindness among each other, maybe we can eliminate some of the problems that lead to violence,” said Malia, an eighth-grader at CFI 27. “Kindness matters.”

IPS Students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Rousseau McClellan School 91

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students from Center for Inquiry School 2

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Arlington High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Broad Ripple High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Center for Inquiry School 84

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at George W. Julian School 57

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at George Washington High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Crispus Attucks High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Harshman Middle School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Northwest High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Shortridge High School

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Merle Sidener Academy

IPS students participate in National Walkout Day

Students at Arsenal Technical High School