Education

Westfield Students Participate in Walk Out to Remember Victims of Parkland Shooting

dd27d25332baf551de06_1-2.JPG
More 1,000 Westfield students participated in a walk out Wednesday to remember the 17 people who died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a month ago. Credits: Westfield Public Schools
cef3bf2012a4f8de7f39_3-2.JPG
WHS junior Emma Wolynez speaks at Wednesday's walk out. Credits: Westfield Public Schools
f4097e4b7ea849175c37_5314782777eed72492c6_IMG_0582.jpeg
Westfield Police blocked off Dorian Road between Rahway Avenue and Trinity Place. Credits: Kate Brochu
79d0155982439c14ca86_bd3e213d963322bf0b36_IMG_0599.jpeg
Members of the community stood across the street from Westfield High School to show their support. Credits: Kate Brochu
dd27d25332baf551de06_1-2.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 1,000 students gathered outside of Westfield High School, Roosevelt Intermediate School and Edison Intermediate School on Wednesday for a district-sanctioned school walk out to honor the 17 victims of the  school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one month ago. Students who had permission from their parents were permitted to leave their classrooms for 17 minutes of remembrance, a minute for each victim in the Parkland shooting, according to a press release from the district.

In a letter to parents, the district asked that only students attend the event. Members of the press were not invited.

Wednesday was National School Walkout day, a day that Women’s March Youth Empower encouraged students, teachers, parents and allies across the country to walk out of schools in support of new gun control-related legislation. 

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield school district officials referred to Wednesday’s walk out as a remembrance event. The “Westfield Walkout” Facebook page has been renamed  “17 Minutes of Solidarity-Westfield.”

“We changed the name of our event to ‘17 Minutes of Solidarity’ because we want #Westfield to show the world we can stand in solidarity together and won’t need to walkout on each other to be heard,” a post on the page reads.

During the event, student leaders at all three schools spoke briefly, some reading poems, others remembering by name each of the 17 victims, all expressing togetherness, according to the district.

“Currently schools across the nation are joining together as we value school safety.  You’re all using the most powerful weapon today — your voice — which cannot be ignored,” Westfield High School junior Emma Wolynez said, according to the district’s press release. “Please use your voice to educate others and talk to family, friends and anyone who will listen to your ideas about safety and schools.  At WHS, we are lucky to have administrators who will listen to us and value our voices, so use that to tell them what you want to see and what you are afraid of.”

“Today will be a day that Westfield students will not soon forget and will serve as a model in the future for how students can impact change within their own communities,” senior Dexter Cypress told students the gathering, the district said.

Sophomore Colin Sumner expressed the collective concerns of students, teachers, parents and administrators in the wake of school shootings and thanked the school district, Westfield police, fire and EMS departments and School Resource Officer Elizabeth Savnik for “putting our lives first and doing so much to ensure our safety,” according to the press release.  

“I am extremely proud of our student organizers who were respectful and thoughtful in every step of their planning process,” Westfield High School Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson said in the release. “It is always important to listen to our students, especially on such an important topic as school safety, which affects us all.”

Wednesday morning, Westfield Police closed off Dorian Road between Rahway Avenue and Trinity Place. Parents and other members of the community gathered across the street from the high school to show their support.

“It’s good to be here. I thought it was important to show the students that the community supports them,” said Jamie Salzman, a mother of two elementary-aged children.“I don’t want to send my kids to school worrying that something is going to happen. We’ve got to do something and if these kids are the ones to do it, then the least we can do is support them.”

Leslie Wallant Langer, mother of a Westfield High School graduate, felt it was important to come out and show her support to the students.

“It’s amazing that the students took it upon themselves to do this. And they are going to do it again on the 24th,” she said, referencing the student-initiated Westfield March for Our Lives event planned for March 24.

Local parent Jennifer Gibbons said she decided to observe the event as she, too, was impressed by the initiative shown by the students.

“I’m proud to support our Westfield students looking to protect their future,” she said.

“I am glad that our student leaders proactively reached out to administrators at the high school and intermediate schools to plan this thoughtful remembrance,” Superintendent Margaret Dolan said in the press release. “This morning our students continued the strong tradition of Westfield students as active participants in our democracy.”  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Another Car Smashes into CVS on Morris Avenue in Union

April 21, 2018

UNION, NJ – For the third time in the past year, a car hit the CVS building at 2287 Morris Avenue at the corner of Commerce Avenue.

Union firefighters responded to a call at the CVS at about 12:50 p.m. Thursday.  According to Fire Chief Mike Scanio, a car had struck the building. The Union Fire Department Special Operations Team along with a township construction official ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_891e5cb2bf40dbaff85b_untitled_design

Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Roosevelt Intermediate School , Westfield

Greta's Run

Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_651ca21754f0dc5bb945_sandwich

Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM

James Ward Mansion, Westfield

Westfield Sandwich Fest

Food & Drink

Carousel_image_92bd37d6a82288e9e7a3_mini_magick20180417-8964-lws1d9

Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM

Westfield

Westfield 2018 Earth Day Celebration

Green

Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

The Secret to Managing Insulin for Weight Loss

April 21, 2018

Not too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him, "Hey Charlie, what's the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?"

"C'mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question." I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn't. Charlie continued, "The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center

 

Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...

Obituaries

Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...