Things to know before walking out


Reina Makimura

10:00AM, March 14, 2018. This date marks one month since the tragic school shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which killed two staff members and 15 students. This is also the day of the National Student Walk Out, a walk out organized by Women’s March Youth Empower. The national walkouts protest all forms of gun violence, including domestic violence, police brutality, and most prevailingly, mass shootings.
“We will protest the lack of security at our school, the lack of gun laws nationwide, and the constant inaction of our elected officials,” the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School specific walk out Facebook page says.
For 17 minutes, schools all across the nation will be leave class quietly and responsibly. According to the Women’s March website, some will gather in hallways, others will surround their schools holding hands, and some will read the names of the victims from Parkland, or those in their own communities.
At SPFHS, a non-school sanctioned walkout will take place. The event is organized by select student leaders. If a student chooses not to participate, they will stay in the classroom with a teacher, where the lesson will continue. Unless all students in a class leave, teachers will not participate.
At 9:55, students are encouraged to leave their class quietly and respectfully. Not all students will participate, and the decision of each individual student should be respected. Everyone walking out will meet at Door 12—this is the only exit that students will be allowed to leave through. The group will officially walk out together at 10:00 exactly and gather at the soccer field.
Once there, there will be a minute of silence in honor of those who have lost their lives. Several activities will be set up, but students can choose what they want or don’t want to do. Some activities include writing letters to congressmen, signing banners of support, and registering to vote—for those 17 or older. Sheets of facts will also be passed out, bearing statistics on gun violence.
At 10:17 students will be asked to return and are all required to be back in class by 10:30. This is not an opportunity to skip class. Students who do not follow instructions, or who leave class for more than 30 minutes and do not return to period 5-6 will be punished according to regular school rules.
Some important things to note are that students are encouraged to bring a letter of parental permission. This letter should go to the main attendance office. While a letter is appreciated, students will not be punished for failing to bring one.
Many students across the nation will be participating in the walk out. However many students at SPFHS join in, those who do will be a part of something much bigger. In order to raise awareness of gun violence, many will be wearing the color orange.
“We definitely want to tell people, don’t participate in something you aren’t fully committed to,” senior Isabella Hurtado said. “It’s definitely important to give your all to something you care about.”
To recap, the walkout is an organized event from 9:55 to 10:30. Students will not be punished for participating as long as all safety guidelines are followed. If participating, a letter of permission from a guardian is appreciated, but not necessary. All students are welcome to participate, but nobody’s decision should be judged.
For more information, students may visit the Instagram page dedicated to the SPFHS walkout – @spf.says.enough – or the Facebook page – Enough! National School Walk Out to End Gun Violence, hosted by Matthew Skolar and Diamond Terrell.
More information can also be found at
EDIT: Dr. Heisey has just announced that permission slips ARE a requirement. Remember to bring these to the main office, or show a pass to your period 5-6 teacher!