Jackson students join nationwide walkout to protest gun violence
Last updated 3/15/2018 at Noon
The cold drizzle did not dampen the emotions of hundreds of students at Jackson High School who walked out of class Wednesday morning to call for an end to the school shootings that has claimed the lives of students and teachers across the country.
The orchestrated protest at Jackson coincided with peaceful demonstrations at more than 3,000 schools to mark the one-month anniversary of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day.
“Our protest came together after students met with Mr. (Scott) Dyer to determine what we could do on a local basis to add our voices to demand an end to gun violence and the killing of innocent children,” junior Ashley Lambert said before the rally. “We cannot change the culture overnight, but we can stand up for what is right.”
More than 500 Jackson students gathered around the statue of the Timberwolf in front of the school at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. They stood in silence as Lambert and Kakanksha Rishi released one balloon each minute with the name and age of a victim of the shooting in Parkland.
Principal Dave Peters and members of the Jackson staff stood back to watch the protest.
“We certainly admire our students for using their right of free speech to speak out against injustice. The students are aware that their absence from class will be listed as an unexcused absence,” Peters said as he watched the balloons float off into the grey skies. “Our concern is always for the safety of our students.”