- Summer Matters
Vanguard School Students Join The National School Walkout
On the one month anniversary of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students from The Vanguard School stood in solidarity with students across the country as part of a national movement to honor the victims and in protest of gun violence. Started by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, March 14 was declared the day of the National School Walkout. Fueled by a generation profoundly impacted by gun violence, at 10:00 am, for 17 minutes —one minute for each victim of the Parkland Shooting—students and allies across the country walked out of school in demand of change.
Joining their peers across the country, students from The Vanguard School calmly exited the school building and gathered in front of their school to join the initiative to say enough with gun violence. As students and staff came together, the names of the 17 victims of the shooting in Parkland, Florida were read. Some students stood in a moment of silence, while others expressed condolences and grieved for victims.
Those who felt inspired engaged in a speech about school safety, kindness, necessary changes and the ways they can make a difference.
“As a parent, a brother, a sister or as a teacher, I beleive that we should be able to walk in [School], feel safe, and do our daily work,” Peter Murr, Vanguard High School student, said. “I don’t believe that someone should be bullied or made fun of for being themselves. I believe that everyone should get along. We are people and people deserve to live.”
Students went on to speak about the importance of speaking up if they feel they are in danger. Another student added that if they are struggling emotionally, to seek help from their school counselors or staff.
Many students spread messages of hope and unity.
“We should be united, not divided,” Mannix Maguire, a student at The Vanguard Transition Center said.
No matter the discussion, the intent was the same: to keep their schools, neighborhoods and communities safe.
The walkout at The Vanguard School was organized by the students and for students, with full support from school administrators and staff. Staff worked to ensure the students who wanted to join in this national movement were able to participate fully, while also ensuring student safety.
The Vanguard School is a Pennsylvania Approved Private School serving students, 4–21 years of age, with a Pennsylvania Department of Special Education exceptionality of autism, speech-language impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability or other health impairment (OHI).