Hundreds of Penn Charter students in grades 5-12 walked out of school just before 10 a.m. on March 14, participants in a national, student-initiated protest advocating for stricter gun laws and increased awareness of the impact of gun violence on communities, schools and children.
Earlier in the day, Lower School students in grades 4 and under reflected on active peacemaking with their teachers and then made flags calling for peace, friendship around the world, and an end to gun violence. The flags are now flying in Chigwell Close.
The 17-minute walkout by the older students began with a quiet walk through the halls, out the doors, and to the center of Maguire Field. Under a bright blue sky, with a March wind whipping at the U.S. and PC flags, they stood in silent worship.
The call for a walkout was initiated by students in Parkland, Fla., after the tragic school shooting there that killed 17 of their classmates and teachers. PC students, moved by the tragedy and the courage of Parkland students who have demanded to be heard, stepped forward to organize the walkout here.
Some students held signs expressing their views—Protect Kids Not Guns— and some wore the color orange, meant to symbolize their solidarity with victims and support of gun safety. Students who chose not to participate remained in class with teachers.
Head of School Darryl J. Ford joined in the protest and earlier this week, with other Quaker heads, praised students for their civic engagement with current issues.