Nearly 140 FSHS students took to the football field for the National School Walkout at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14, honoring the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting and showing support for school safety.
"I had a student come to me and say they'd like to support the students in Florida and Marshall County that passed away by putting together a demonstration," FSHS Principal Tim Schlosser said. "I think it shows these kids want to have a voice in making sure they're safe when they come to school … I admire the kids at FSHS [for wanting] to have a voice."
Participants circled the track for approximately 19 minutes, each representing one of the victims in the Parkland and Marshall County incidents, and provided signed permission slips before leaving the building.
"We're out here to show respect to people that passed away in the shootings," Breeanna Ball said. "It feels like [here] I can show respect in a way everybody knows how."
Students also attended to get involved in the national conversation sparked after the incidents.
"I came out here to support the students … to convey that [we'd] like a decision in this," Aaron Slack said. "This is our way of letting people know we're thinking about them and trying to make a change."
To many, the demonstration was about keeping the conversation in focus rather than advocating for specific measures.
"For me, this walkout was a tangible rhetorical question," Meadow Hall said. "If it makes you think about anti-gun laws, whether teachers should have guns or if we need more security guards in schools … then we're doing our job as students to raise awareness."
Participant Hunter Graves also said he hopes people with differing viewpoints are able to come together and affect change.
"I came out to this demonstration to voice my opinion on school safety … the viewpoint that we need to do something," Graves said. "There are several political agendas people have, but we as a community, as a country and as a town need to come together for a feasible solution."