Today, Burlingame students participated in a nation-wide walkout, organized by Women’s March Youth Empower, to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting. Students left class at approximately 9:55 a.m. this morning and gathered at the front of the school.
Beginning at 10 a.m., students who led the event honored one victim each minute, for a total of 17. At the turn of each passing minute, a student read a victim’s name as well as a short description of the student’s life or a quote from a friend of family member. At the end of the 17 minutes, a moment of silence was held for all of the lives lost.
“Going to a high school and seeing that happen in a high school I think is extremely emotional and jarring for a lot of people and I think that’s why we got so much support,” senior Claire Beswick said. “I am really happy with how many people came today. I think it’s a testament to the political activity of our school.”
Many students brought posters, with messages such as “#Enough,” “17 too many,” and the names and ages of the victims.
Organizers and leaders of the event explained that the walkout is just the first step in raising awareness and bringing change.
“I think that students finally realized that their voice can be heard,” junior Lily Navab said. “It was emotional, and I think from here we can take the next steps to make a difference in terms of legislation.”
Senior Priya Koliwad addressed the group at the end of the 17 minutes to remind students of the March for our Lives event on March 24. Marches on that day will be held in San Mateo in the morning and in San Francisco that afternoon.
“We’ve taken responsibility because we feel like our leaders have neglected the responsibilities of keeping us safe,” Koliwad said. “We’re going to keep fighting for gun control. That’s our goal, because we want to make sure every school is safe.”
Junior Natasha Lopez expressed that she was impressed with the turnout this morning and hopes that this momentum will continue.
“I think that the walkout went really great today,” she said. “It was a really amazing thing to have all these Burlingame students come out for the cause. The Parkland students were just like us. Gun violence is real, and I think that we need more policy and more change and it’s amazing to see kids taking this change into their own hands.”
Senior Mira Guleri shared how personal this movement feels to her.
“There were kids my age,” she said. “Kids who were born in 2000, took the SAT last year, applied to college in December. Those kids are just like me, and I think that’s what really struck a chord with me, that it could be any one of us. And that’s why we need to make a difference. There really isn’t another option.”
For more photos from the event, visit The Burlingame B's Facebook account.