National movement comes to Erie and Edinboro in March

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 at 6:15 PM

Following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 students dead, schools around the nation have begun to take action and show their solidarity with Douglas students by signing up for the National Walkout Event, organized by the Women’s March.

This event, taking place on March 14, calls for students across the United States to walk out of their classes for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. to honor the 17 students who died in the Parkland shooting. According to, the website where schools can register for the event, this is to  “protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”

Currently, hundreds of schools in the U.S. (including two in the Virgin Islands and one in Puerto Rico), one school in Ireland and one school in Israel are registered for the event. Among those are local schools, including: Collegiate Academy, McDowell High School, Harborcreek High School, Seneca High School, General McLane High School, Girard High School, Union City High School and Edinboro University. 

Edinboro junior Abby Woodell organized the Edinboro University event, saying she wanted to participate and show support for the students in Florida.

“I didn’t have any help initially from other students or school members, but after I created the event, I sent it to my friends in school and emailed it to my professors asking for their help to spread the word,” Woodell said. 

Edinboro’s event will be held on March 20 at 1 p.m., as the national date falls during the university’s spring break. 

“Watching the kids in Florida raise their voice against people in power was really inspiring to watch,” Woodell said. “I’ve always wanted to make a difference and stand up against injustice in the world, and I felt that this was a good opportunity. There is no reason why 17 innocent lives had to be lost, and we need to make sure it does not happen again.”

Similarly, Morgan Williams, a senior at McDowell High School, planned the event for her school with the help of a teacher and a guidance counselor. Williams noted that since the walkout is technically considered skipping school, she approved it with her principal, who said there would be no punishment for students who participate, as long as they return to class in a timely manner and remain peaceful during.

Woodell said she’s been following the Women’s March for about a year now after participating in the Women’s March on Washington in 2017. 

“There’s always a sense of helplessness when something tragic happens,” she said. “The question is never whether or not I want to do something to change it, but rather, what will I do to change it? When I saw they (Women’s March) created the walkout for the 14th, I knew I’d be down for it.”

On March 14 at 10 a.m., McDowell students will head to the football field located between the intermediate and senior high schools to show support. Williams asks for students to wear orange on this day, as it is the color for national gun violence awareness.

“Events like these are important because too often, kids are spoken for or spoken over,” Williams said. “This walkout is student-led, meaning we are given an opportunity to plan, organize and facilitate an event that affects students nationwide. Since the Parkland shooting, kids all across the country have been talking about what it means to be safe in school and also what it means to be unsafe in school.”

She continued: “Regardless of political stance, we can all unanimously agree [that] we deserve to feel safe in school. That’s what this walkout is about.”

Woodell said students who plan to participate in the Edinboro event should come prepared with signs, posters and banners to show support, while also wearing orange to stand in solidarity with the students who lost their lives in Florida. 

“Even if you feel like spending the 30 minutes walking at this event won’t make a difference, it does,” Woodell said. “It sets the stage for future protests and future generations raising their voices against social injustice. We’re the generation that’s going to be in charge one day, and we can start making a difference today.”

To register for the Edinboro event, RSVP at 

Dakota Palmer can be reached at

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