Student Column: Brandywine Heights students speak their minds at April 20 Walkout

At an April 20 Walkout, Brandywine Heights Area High School students wanted to be heard again, this time in a much more inclusive way.
At an April 20 Walkout, Brandywine Heights Area High School students wanted to be heard again, this time in a much more inclusive way. Submitted photo

At an April 20 Walkout, Brandywine Heights Area High School students wanted to be heard again, this time in a much more inclusive way than in previous conventions such as the one on March 14, held in wake of the Parkland, Florida, shooting.

During this event, all students had the chance to be heard through three different stations put up inside the school’s auditorium which included three different stations to participate. Group one was registering to vote. Group two was there to design posters in order to be held during the walkout itself which was actually endorsed by the school this time around. The third and final group was a discussion among students about what can be done about these shootings.

Brandywine Heights is a district that has a high population of hunters and conservative speaking kids which is rare for a high school age group. That being said there is a high diversity of opinions on the topic. Some of the conversations got a little heated, but that’s not surprising when speaking of such life changing topics.

In the voting registry group, there were about 10 people who decided to register. This may not seem like a lot, but that is 10 more voices in our democracy and, in such a split world it takes people with new ideas to be able to drive change much like the students who organized this event in the first place.

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The last group that was at the event was making posters for the walkout that was allowed by the school this time around.

Amelia Coates, a Brandywine Heights senior, commented on how it felt to help run this event after being suspended previously for walking out.

“In the wake of March 14 and our suspension, it would be unfair to us as well as the administration to not attempt to respond and, meet in the middle. This gave us both a second chance to do what is right in a correct way,” said Coates.

At 10 a.m. students walked outside through the back doors to hold a 13-minute period of silence in honor of shooting victims. During this students held up signs saying things such as, “Arms are for hugging,” and, “Never again.”

This event was held to appease everyone and the district itself has seen some change in the past month. We no longer stand in one giant room in the morning and new security has been put in place as promised previously. This school district is one full of passion through the students as well as the administration causing for a generation of great things and change.

About 90 kids attended the walk out and even more attended the pre-gathering to see what others thought on such an issue.

Brandywine Heights High School Principal Joshua Ziatyk said, “I feel that the student leadership by collaborating with the administration is the process that will help student voice effect change.”

This district is seeing the start of a new harmony and formation of future leaders and the fight has just begun. Through the change Brandywine Heights has seen in routine lately is greatly applauded by students and the change we have been trying to see. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of standing up for what you believe in, regardless of the repercussions, to drive change.