FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Concordia Lutheran High School and Huntington North High School held organized events for Wednesday’s national school walkout. A month after the deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Flordia, the walkout honored the 17 lives lost while for advocating school safety. Some students also used it to defend the second amendment. The walkouts started at 10:00 a.m. and lasted 17 minutes in remembrance of the 17 victims.
Some schools held students absent if they walked out. Others held moments of silence and some planned organized events.
“I thought it was really cool that we were able to do this walkout memorial. I think it’s important that we demonstrate that we’re here for the parkland students no matter what,” Senior Drew Amstutz said.
Concordia had a short assembly before the walkout, giving students the chance to ask questions and discuss school safety. “You can control this environment and you can teach younger kids how to control the environment as well and own your school. Own the environment. If something’s not right, you need to tell somebody it’s not right,” Captain Mitch McKinney said.
A few students at Huntington North also walked out to protect the second amendment. Some held signs that read “save our guns.”
The superintendent of Huntington County Schools said he viewed it as a learning experience. “Hopefully they’ve learned a little about our government, our society, their voice in the world,” Randy Harris said.
Some schools counted students absent if they walked out. At Huntington, students would just miss what happened in class. “They would face whatever consequences of not being there for that but we have not taken it that there’s going to be additional consequences beyond that.”
Students at Concordia said today was dedicated to the victims and meant to honor them, but efforts toward school safety don’t stop here. “Some people say that our generation is distracted and disconnected. But I believe solemn days like these bring each of us together in ways never seen before,” Amstutz said.
Their walkout included the participation of civil servants from the Fort Wayne Fire Department, the Fort Wayne Police Department, and members of the JROTC. Parents were welcomed to join in the peaceful and solemn. 600 students participated.
Prior to that, there was an assembly inside the school.