Confronted by an absence of leadership by their adult elected officials when it comes to discussing meaningful gun control, high school students across the country are taking things into their own hands. They plan to walk out of their classrooms on Wednesday, March 14, to rally for gun control and honor the 17 victims of the shooting last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Locally, school districts have approached the prospect of the student walkout differently. In Sag Harbor, for instance, Superintendent Katy Graves, while signaling her support for students’ right to free speech, has refused to sanction the walkout, citing the concern that she cannot guarantee students’ safety if they leave the school building. The irony is not lost here that, increasingly, students aren’t safe in their school buildings, either.
We think the Bridgehampton School District has hit on a more effective response to next week’s walkout. This Wednesday, at the same time the national walkout is scheduled, the school plans to hold a non-political ceremony honoring the shooting victims. We believe that by meeting as a community and acknowledging the importance of this issue to the nation as a whole, the district has the potential to have a profound impact on its students.