The following comments were submitted by NSMS eighth graders after the 10 AM walkout in remembrance of the shooting victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Note: They are posted here as they were submitted, with minimal editing on the part of the Viking Voice Staff.

I believe that a walkout should be organized by students. Instead, our school got involved and took the responsibility of the students away. We should have had the chance to encourage our peers to join, and figure out where we are walking to, but we were not able to. I also believe that the chant of “We want change” should have been at the end of the walkout. Those 17 minutes were meant to be in silence to respect the lives of those who were lost. To end on a positive note, I will say that there was a large showing of students and I do believe that we were able to state our cause.

Conscientious Objector by Anonymous

I chose not to participate in this walk, truthfully, for its hidden message. Of course, I am bitterly sorry to all victims and people related to them. However, the use of this protest is only forwarding
a liberal agenda to revoke our second amendment. Rather than discuss policy, they use our youth as pawns for their plan. They simply stand on the graves of the victims of this horrid
school shooting.

Powerful Protest by Anonymous

Walking out in that mass herd of people, I truly believe in the phrase strength in numbers. Walking out the school doors in silence and everyone having a different reason to be there was truly remarkable. I was amazing to see so many people who weren’t even out there based on politics, but because of the 17 lives lost during the shooting. When two girls got up in front and started saying the names of the lives lost, you could feel the energy flowing through the crowd. So many people came out, despite the frigid weather. Having that kind of turnout, really shows everyone that even people who can’t vote, still have an opinion.

Expecting Silence by Anonymous

Going into the walk-out, I was under the impression that we were doing to be silent the whole time. However, while we were in the circle we were told to chant ‘WE WANT CHANGE’. I disagreed with this statement for many reasons. One of the reasons people were walking out was to give respect to the 17 lives lost in the shooting. Some of those people did not believe in changing the gun laws which was why I felt we should have stayed silent.

Conflicted Feelings by Anonymous

I was debating on going out, because I didn’t believe that much in gun control. People were telling me that it was for the 17 students and I began to think how I would feel if I didn’t go out. Guilty. So I did. I walked out with many others in silence and after the silence passed and people began to chant, I regretted it. That’s not what I had walked out for. I feel there is so much more we could  of done to commemorate these 17 students then chant and walk out of school.

Respectful Silence by Anonymous

I feel like the protest should have been silent in respect of the 17 people that died. There
shouldn’t have been any talking or chanting, just silence. We should have also focused on these
people who lost their lives instead of just focusing on gun control which is also very important.

Varying Reasons by Anonymous

March 14, 2018… The school ORGANIZED walkout. Not a walkout. A school organized walkout. It loses its whole purpose when teachers are escorting you outside with policemen already there as if we were going to run out of the school like headless chickens. When the 11 other kids in my class walked out, I was the only kid to stay inside. Yes, I know the walkout symbolizes change, but how? How does walking out of school show how we want our school to become a prison instead of a place of learning, just because some kids don’t feel safe at our school? But I do. But I don’t get a say. I’m a kid. A fourteen year old girl. No adult is going to listen to a teenager. The adults make a decision so they will lock us behind bars so we can feel “safe”. That just makes me scared. After the shooting it’s like we can’t be trusted so we are given imaginary leashes that are tugged anytime one kid does something and the whole school changes. More cameras… more rules… more assemblies. If the walkout shows change, why do I feel the same? I feel as if the kids who did the walkout just wanted to miss a class. They aren’t doing it for a cause or for a real purpose, they are doing it for the reason of not wanting to do school work. If you did the walkout, be honest, tell me why you walked out. Tell the truth. Was it for change, or was it to miss a class?

Worrying for Safety by Anonymous

I protested the protest. That is because I was a little worried about my safety. All of the students standing in one place at once. Don’t you think that’s worrying? Also I felt that it was ridiculous that when have to have our children and kids protest. Some kids in my class say they regretted it, probably because it was freezing out, but we have to push our kids in the freezing cold to protest over this? That’s ridiculous!

Making a Difference by Anonymous

The silence was for those that lost their lives, for someone who couldn’t control their own, so if you
went out, I hope you used it for what it was for and that you know you made a difference.