On March 14th PAES middle school students voluntarily met at the flagpole at 10am for 17 minutes to honor the lives lost in last month's Parkland shooting. To pay our respect we read each victim's name and a little about each person, prayed and reflected on the importance of love and kindness.
In the afternoon, Communications & Publishing students spent time reflecting on the morning walkout... What it meant to be a part of it here on our campus, what it meant on a national level and what it stands for. Themes of respect, kindness, awareness, love and solidarity were all discussed.
Here's some of what they had to say:
"We all know about the school shooting that happened last month. A lot of us probably know about the school walk-outs that happened today (March 14, 2018) at 10am. School walkouts are, literally, when students walk out of school... all across the country students volunteered to walk out and have 17 minutes of silence for each of the lives lost at the February 14th Parkland school shooting. Some schools may have performed the walkout differently... our school talked about the victims and remembered them. It was more than 17 minutes, however it still contributed to the nation-wide event. After the 17 minutes of silence, some schools protested instead of going back to class like we did.
I think things like this will help people stand up to school shootings somehow; proving they are wrong... walkouts also help us remember the innocent victims and realize that anything like this could happen to us at any time. It also helps the friends and families of the victims know that many people care and that we want to do something about school shootings."
"I feel like the walk out is very special because it honors those that died in the Florida school shooting."
"Is there anyway to 100% prevent this from happening? Unfortunately, the answer is no. But as Christians we must believe that God has our back and holds our every thought, step and choice. He lives in us, thrives throughout us and never stops loving us. I talk to my mom and dad about school shootings regularly and I will admit that I am afraid. Not just for myself, but for my family and my friends that could be a victim of a ruthless school shooter. The best advice they gave me was that, if in that situation, it was my time to say goodbye to my life, then God will choose if he is ready for me to live or to return back to him. I tell you today: hang onto God one more day, don't think that he's just laughing at the miserable life we live. He tells us in the Bible that you will face trouble in this life because of sin, but that is not the end of the story; He also said that for those who hold onto Him (even 'till death), He will remember them in paradise. Hold on and don't think you're alone or unloved because there is someone much bigger than us; He knows your every move, every heartbreak, every joy, every tear and everything you've ever loved and He's not ready to give up on you."
"Stop everything you are doing, drop it and walk out of school. Gather around with your fellow classmates, and take a few minutes to think about all of the families who are mourning the loss of a son, or daughter maybe even a wife, or husband. They had no idea that something as horrible as a school shooting would happen. It is a serious problem, like another student said earlier today, " We just think oh another school shooting, and that's normal to us." Something like that should never be normal; the only reason it is normal is because we are so used to people putting others down that we don't really think anything of it. You might not, but that doesn't mean the person you are putting down does notice it.
When we walk out, we are honoring the lives that were lost. We take a moment of silence to think about them, and their families. We want them to know that they are not alone; it helps show support the families and the communities. So we lift our head to God and pray to help and bless the families."