Midlands students honor the lives of the 17 students killed in Florida school shooting
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) – Today students all over the nation took part in the National Walkout Day to help bring awareness to gun violence in schools, but for two schools in Richland 1, it looked a little different.
Dreher and AC Flora High Schools were allowed to participate, but due to safety precautions, were not allowed to physically walk out of their classrooms.
Instead, students were directed to the gym or auditorium for 17 minutes of silence.
Dr. Toby Jenkins, a professor of education at the University of South Carolina, said; “I think it’s really critically important that teachers, school leaders, administrators, thoughtfully guide, support, and encourage this type of activism in school.”
Jenkins said that she is used to seeing college students as activists, but she’s now energized seeing high school students using their voices for change.
Even some middle schoolers participated in National Walkout Day. Fulmer Middle students unfurled an American flag on their field trip to Fort Sumter National Monument.
Gov. Henry McMaster said he wished there would be more prayers for the 17 students of Stoneman Douglas High School. He said, “If they do walk out I do hope there will be prayers involved because that’s very important. But I think a left wing group acting as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak, to come in and use these children as tools or as pawns for their own political ends instead of what the children are there for is a travesty.
But Jenkins says this is a great way to develop active leaders and engaged citizens and she’s looking forward to the day these students step onto college campuses. Jenkins says they’re mothering America, and it’s a powerful thing for them to do at their age, with their numbers. She said, “A mother corrects their child, when they see them doing wrong they don’t hesitate to speak on that because they ultimately want to make that child become better. So I think when our students are doing that of our country, criticizing out of love, I think they’re demonstrating strong patriotism.”