‘We all have to stand as one to make a difference.’

March 14, 2018

‘We all have to stand as one to make a difference.’

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

SHELBY — Several Shelby High School students participated in a “walk out” Wednesday morning, March 14, on the one-month anniversary of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Students in schools nationwide participated in the movement Wednesday morning, speaking out against gun violence and bullying and honoring the 17 people who died in the one of the deadliest school shootings in modern US history. Communities across the nation have been on edge in the wake of the horrible tragedy.

Just a little over a week after the Parkland shooting, Shelby and Hart high schools both went into “soft lockdown” mode following false threats. The threat was linked to a nationwide social media post originating out of Ohio that went viral. Approximately one week later, a Hesperia High School student was detained and suspended for making a threat to other students that he planned to shoot up the school.

“The walk out is to show that students are tired of the reoccurrence of school shootings and nothing changing,” said SHS student Thomas Hammersley. “The walk out is also meant to pay respects to the victims of the Parkland shooting.”

The walk out was organized to last 17 minutes in honor of the 17 Parkland victims.

“This may be about gun control, or it may be about bullying or it may be about keeping each other safe,” said SHS student Marissa Westmoreland as she addressed students during the walk out.

“I know for a fact I don’t want to see my best friend dying in the middle of the hallway,” Westmoreland said.

“When we had the lockdown a couple weeks ago, I don’t want to get out of school and hear my mom calling me asking ‘What’s wrong? What happened? Are you OK?'”

“I don’t want to have to hear her asking me if I’m OK every day that I walk out of school.”

“I’m here to get an education and to feel safe and to strive and grow with my best friends,” she said. “Even people that I might have problems with, I don’t want to see them get hurt either. We all have to stand as one to make a difference and to let people know that we want change. Whether it’s for bullying or for guns, it just has to be for us. Because I know for a fact that I don’t want to have to tell my parents goodbye at the age I’m at.”

Law enforcement from personnel from the Shelby Police Department, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office and the Hart post of the Michigan State Police were on scene at the school campus. Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Simon said officers were on hand just in case any violence erupted and to keep the students safe as middle school band students were walking to the high school for band instruction. The students remained peaceful, however.

“It’s nice to see them all get together,” said Shelby Police Chief Ryan Furman. “They did their research, and it was well organized.”

As the students exited the auditorium, they chanted, “Enough is Enough!”

“Shelby High School and Middle School administration and staff worked with students to create places for our high school and middle school students to participate in today’s National School Walkout,” said Superintendent Tim Reeves.

“Our goal was to allow for students who wished to walk out of class today, to assemble in a safe place, and speak for 17 minutes to honor and commemorate the 17 lives lost last month during the Parkland, Florida school shooting,” Reeves said.

“Both buildings had students participate in the walkout, as well as speak, and all went well. Overall, staff were very impressed with how our students presented themselves, as well as their messages, around school safety.”

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.




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