Weston Warhorse

Weston Walks out to Stand Up

Weston+High+School+students+Matthew+Figiola+%2718%2C+Caroline+Cassol+%2719%2C+and+Eliza+Maestri+%2719+held+up+teddy+bears+at+the+walkout.%0APhoto+courtesy+of+Claudia+Thompson+%2718
Weston High School students Matthew Figiola '18, Caroline Cassol '19, and Eliza Maestri '19 held up teddy bears at the walkout.
Photo courtesy of Claudia Thompson '18

Weston High School students Matthew Figiola '18, Caroline Cassol '19, and Eliza Maestri '19 held up teddy bears at the walkout. Photo courtesy of Claudia Thompson '18

Weston High School students Matthew Figiola '18, Caroline Cassol '19, and Eliza Maestri '19 held up teddy bears at the walkout. Photo courtesy of Claudia Thompson '18

Danielle Hemmers, Staff Writer

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On March 14th, students from Weston High School left class at 10 a.m. for a national school walkout in response to gun violence and the school shooting that killed 17 in Parkland, Florida on the same day a month earlier. Students from all over the Fairfield county-area participated in the demonstration, organized through the youth branch of the Women’s March.
The walk out lasted 17 minutes, one minute for each victim in the Parkland shooting. Not only did Weston High school students focus on the shooting in Parkland, but they held up stuffed animals to show respect for the kids and teachers who died in the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy.

How did the administration handle the walkout?

School administrators from around the country were challenged with balancing security and students’ rights and therefore had varied reactions to the organized walkouts.
Fortunately for students at Weston, our administrators worked with students to develop clear plans to manage the walkouts.

“The superintendent gave the students permission to conduct the walkout. Speaking for the administrators, we were very proud of the students and the way that they planned and executed this event. Well done!” says Principal Lisa Deorio.

Who organized the event at WHS?

Senior Elissa Teles organized the march here at WHS. On February 17th, Teles created a Facebook group called Weston High School Walkout, March 14th 2018. She added anyone she knew that expressed an interest in walking out, and encouraged them to add anyone else they knew who would like to join. (Read her interview on page 3.)

What Happened March 14th?

The day started out that morning with orange bows being passed around, to show support, and name tags for participants to write why they were walking out. Then promptly at 10 a.m. students left their classes and go to the track. There they gathered around the bleachers to sing the National Anthem led by three freshmen.
All the names of the victims of the recent shooting in Parkland were called out followed by cracking a glow stick after each one. Then, students held up stuffed animals for the kids at Sandy Hook. Afterwards there was a moment of silence that allowed the students to reflect.
Before the final event, Teles and a few other seniors talked about what the walkout meant to them. They made sure to mention that no matter what political group you support, what gender you are, or what social class you stand in, there is no wrong reason to support the victims of any school shooting.
Finally all of the participants walked a unity lap around the track while students of all grades sang “Imagine” by John Lennon to end the 17 minutes.

What’s next?

Students have many opportunities to keep supporting the Parkland victims and do everything they can to prevent another shooting. On March 24 there were more walks in locations such as New York and Washington DC.

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