Archer community set to participate in #Enough National School Walkout, advocate for gun control


A sketch of students holding signs protesting the United States’ current gun policies. Since the Parkland shooting last month, a surge of youth activism has appeared all over the country. Art by Lucia Barker ’18.

For 17 minutes, students across the country will honor the 17 lives lost in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by walking out of their classes to advocate for stricter gun control measures.

Organized by the leaders behind the Women’s March, this walkout aims for students to take action and demand that Congress pass legislation to keep all communities safe from gun violence. According to the #Enough National School Walkout’s official online page, “teachers, school administrators, parents and allies” alike will all take part in the demonstration.

According to Dean of Students Jenn Babin, Archer’s walkout, which is optional, will take place in the courtyard on Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m.

“The courtyard is the heart of Archer, and this will be where those who want to participate will gather,” Babin said. “I’ve been so impressed by the students organizing everything for this event, and it’s going to be an incredible day.”

Immediately following the walkout, guest speaker Hollye Dexter of Women Against Gun Violence (WAGV) will visit Archer to share information about gun control policies and how Archer students can participate in the prevention of gun violence.

During lunch, various student-sponsored stations will be offered in the courtyard, including letter writing, voter registration and petition signing.

An email from the Walkout Leadership Comittee stated that the theme of the day will be “love” in order to memorialize those who died in the shooting and “to exercise our right to stand up for what we believe in.”

A poster illustration of David Hogg, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. This image was created to promote the March for Our Lives protests. Art by Ameya Marie.

Archer students have established an eight-person planning committee. Isabella Simanowitz ’18, one of the members of the committee, expressed her excitement about Archer participating in this initiative.

“After the shooting, so many of the students spoke up about gun violence and safety, and I feel like for the first time, we, as young people, are being taken seriously,” Simanowitz said. “Going to Archer, I always felt like my voice mattered, but I now think the rest of the world is catching up.”

Head of School Elizabeth English echoed Simanowitz’s sentiments and highlighted Archer’s mission of promoting student voices.

“Student activism across the country right now is putting pressure on the decision makers,” English said. “It’s really thrilling to see this, and it gives everyone a lot of hope. I always want Archer students to feel that they have the power to make change.”

March 14 marks one month since the Parkland tragedy. On March 24, there will be larger protests across the country, specifically the nation-wide March for Our Lives, which includes various planned demonstrations launched by Parkland survivors in the wake of the shooting.

“This national walkout on Wednesday will show people around the globe that students are more politically active and aware than ever before,” Simanowitz said. “I think it’s going to spark a revolution — one that teenagers are at the forefront of.”