Education

200 New Providence Students Decide Participating in National Walkout Outweighs Risk of School Discipline

96bc886f37942251f7fb_IMG_5592.JPG
200 students decide to walk out of New Providence High/Middle School in solidarity for the #Enough National School Walkout Movement. Credits: Bobbie Peer
0d908e13cf6d51ff62f6_IMG_5596.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
555a2a65a701fb637871_IMG_5589.JPG
Approximately 20 parents stood on the outskirts of school property as the students filed out to participate in the National School Walkout on Wednesday. Credits: Bobbie Peer
9d5728c73a1ae0934048_IMG_5587.JPG
Credits: Bobbie Peer
96bc886f37942251f7fb_IMG_5592.JPG

Updated, Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:45 a.m.

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - About 200 students from New Providence High School and Middle School participated in the National School Walkout on Wednesday at 10 a.m. to protest gun violence which was held on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland, FL high school shooting where 17 people were killed. 

Principal Lauren Zirpoli issued a letter on March 9 advising the parents/guardians that the students would not be permitted to leave class because the timing of the movement presents a negative impact on classroom learning as it will interfere with valuable instructional time.  Zirpoli's letter said the students who wish to exercise their right to assemble could participate at 2:40 p.m. at Lieder Field.

Sign Up for E-News

These 200 students chose not to wait until 2:40 p.m. and walked out of their classrooms in solidarity at 10 a.m. with the many other students across the nation. They made the decision that the cause was worth the risk of disciplinary actions they may face by the school. The students stood respectfully in the crisp 32 degree weather [without cell phones] for 17 minutes to honor the 17 people murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as well as made their impact for the #Enough movement.  

NPHS sophomore Rachael Mishking, said in a letter to TAPinto, "Students of New Providence High School are eager to show their support to the victims of gun violence and join the nationwide walkout." She acknowledged the letter from Zirpoli and said, "I can understand the risks and reasons why the administration would take issue with the walkout at its scheduled time, but these risks are dwarfed by the meaning behind the protest. -- With this walkout, we are demanding action in response to the horrific mass murders that we have come to fear each day as we enter our place of education. -- It shouldn't be surprising when we choose to stand up for what we believe in, it should be expected and encouraged."    

There was a presence of New Providence police officers on school property along with school supervision that included Principal Zirpoli. She takes the protection of the students extremely seriously, and ultimately, the students participating in this walkout remain under her watch and protection.  Zirpoli had no further comment.

According to Mishking, the walkout went "beautifully." She said police officers and administrators were in the halls and outside, "but they weren't trying to stop us from leaving." Students spoke and urged the students to call congress and gave the number of the district congressman. "My call actually went through," she said. "I was able to express my opinions."

A parent, while leaving the rally, said, the students were very respectful, it was very well done, and she was proud of them. 

So far, no punitive action by the school has been announced, but that could change, said Mishking.

The #Enough National School Walkout movement was started by the Women's March Youth EMPOWER group calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a national walkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods, according to the Action Network website. The website stated, "We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

Openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work with the professional staff at Union County’s Rape Crisis Center to ...

Free Public Panel Will Explore Sexual Assault and Consent

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites members of the public to attend a panel discussion on sexual assault and consent on Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. in Room N-4 at Union County College, 1033 Springfield Avenue in Cranford. The panel will feature a question and answer session.

The panel discussion is intended to raise awareness about sexual assault and consent in ...

Presentation on College Admission and College Readiness At New Providence High School, Tuesday, April 24

New Providence High School will host a special parent presentation, “College Admission Does Not Guarantee College Readiness!” with Dr. Joel Ingersoll, Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. in the New Providence High School Auditorium, 35 Pioneer Drive.

Dr. Joel, a NJ Licensed Psychologist and Certified Master Coach, will lead a one-of-a-kind experience, designed to help you maximize ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Student Led #Rally4 Action to Protest Gun Violence Held Friday in Springfield

April 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Fueled partially by their disappointment that students were not allowed to leave school for the nationwide student protest last month, student leaders planned a rally Friday on the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine massacre in Colorado. At 4:30 p.m., students, parents, families, community members met at Chisholm Community Center to register voters, make ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, April 24, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a4801a3d56342db1596a_pilates_reformer

Tue, April 24, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ff35ab71e957e9734489_jump_in_swim

Tue, April 24, 11:00 AM

The Connection, Summit

Jump In & Swim

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Tue, April 24, 5:30 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providenece

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_ae7b14f49101795b08ed_zumba

Tue, April 24, 6:30 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Zumba

Health & Wellness

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...

Education