MILLBURN, N.J. — In honor of the 17 fallen students and faculty from the Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, students across the country marched out of their respective schools at exactly 10 o’clock on March 14 as part of the National School Walkout. Millburn Middle School and High School were no exception.
“Students may opt to participate peacefully, safely and securely, under the supervision of staff” said Superintendent of Millburn Schools Dr. Christine Burton in a statement before the walkout.
The nationwide demonstration was organized by EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March. Despite their age, these children aim to spark political reform in response to the multitude of school shootings from recent years. These changes include the abolition of assault weapons, the implementation of universal background checks for all gun sales, and a new law that would allow courts to seize weapons from those who exhibit signs of violent behavior.
However, the Millburn march was not meant to be as political as it was memorial. Senior class President Kyle Mazer emphasized the bipartisanism that this demonstration was meant to possess.
“As I heard one of the fathers of a murdered child say previously, the issue at hand right now is not one of gun control or background checks.” Mazer went on to say “We have to stand with the other schools all across the nation who back that families will have to mourn, possibly endlessly, the shortened lives of their now-deceased children.”
MHS students of all grades gathered on the front lawn of the school. After each of the deceased names were read aloud followed by a brief description, the crowd of hundreds of students and staff bowed their heads for a moment of silence.