Craig students walk out of class in protests related to Florida school shooting
CRAIG — Students at Craig Middle School quietly exited the front entrance of the school at 10 a.m. Wednesday and made their way to a grass walkway along East Ninth Street, just outside the school campus.
The silent walkout was in conjunction with similar protests happening across the country March 14 — a month after a deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead.
“We’re showing our respect to those kids that lost their lives in the shooting,” said Faith Berkey, 14, who was among a few dozen students who walked out of the middle school Wednesday.
Berkey said the students planned to stay outside for 17 minutes to show their solidarity with the students in Parkland.
“We’re trying to make a difference,” she said.
About 40 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade participated in the walkout, which was supervised by a few school staff members.
Meanwhile, students at Moffat County High School held a 1-minute, 17-second moment of silence to honor the students who lost their lives in Florida one month ago.
“Today is not a walkout, today is not a debate on gun control, today is not a debate on mental health; today is a day that we unite, as a school, as a nation and as a family,” said Jacob Briggs, high school student council president, in a school-wide announcement.
He then called for the moment of silence.
One student — Aaron Hill — walked out at Moffat County High School.
“We had a moment of silence. We recognized the lives that were lost and the fact that they don’t get to live the rest of theirs,” Hill said. “It wasn’t enough.”
Following procedures from the student handbook, Hill had parental permission and a pass to leave school. Principal Kyle York said he will not face disciplinary action for walking out.
That may not be the case for students who did not follow school procedure.
In a letter sent to parents Tuesday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools David Ulrich wrote, “MCSD neither condones nor condemns the actions of our students surrounding this walkout. Consistent with the student handbook, students understand that there will be a consequence for walking out of class/school. The consequences will be served during lunch or after school.”
Craig City Police Officers were at both schools to ensure the safety of students.
“Originally they were going to be crossing Finley Lane and Ninth Street at the high school and we wanted to make conditions as safe as possible for students and the motoring public,” said Police Chief Jerry DeLong.
High school students are considering holding another event in April.