April 24, 2018

GOA Participates in School Walkout

Jonah Altman ‘21

On March 14, exactly a month after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that claimed the lives of 17 children and teachers, students across the United States walked out of their classes to promote gun safety legislation. Walkouts began at about 10 a.m. and lasted 17 minutes, a minute for each of the 17 people murdered in the school shooting. At Golda och Academy a large amount of students and teachers opted to participate in the walkout.
The walkout was coordinated by the Student Council, which organized speeches and song to be sung during the 17-minute break in the school day. Freshman Samantha Rigantie is a strong believer in gun control and was a speaker at the walkout.
“Kids getting involved is definitely the best way to create a lot of change,” she said.
Sophomore Eva Hale, who also spoke at the walkout, agrees.
“[The walkout] showed how this generation cares about gun control,” she said, “[and are willing] to [act as] activist[s] for it.”
However, not all students felt the walkout was something they wished to be a part of.
“I don’t believe the school should be involved in politics,” freshman Jared Berelowitz said, objecting to the concept of a student-led walkout.
The organization of the walkout was also bothersome to Berelowitz.
He believes that, “a walkout is meant to be a defiance of [authority]” and argues that “when the system is on your side, the walkout has become ineffective.”
Berelowitz chose to remain in school and partake in a discussion of other methods to combat American gun violence.
Fellow freshman Noah Feldman also decided not to walk out.
“I believe there is an issue with gun violence,” Feldman said, “[but] many at the walkout took stances that were too extreme.”
Feldman added he does not believe in positions like a “ban on semi-automatic weapons” and that his “more moderate view was not represented by the walkout.”
Regardless, many at school agree that such activism, primarily by young adults was momentous.

“Children halted the American education system for 17 minutes across the country,” junior Theo Deitz-Green said. “This is revolutionary.”

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