Kings Park, Northport students stand up against gun violence
Students are scared, and they’re not going to take it anymore.
Students Demand Action, an organization affiliated with Everytown/Moms Demand Action, planned a national school walkout for May 26 in response to the May 24 shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 students and two teachers lost their lives.
More than two dozen Kings Park High School students and over 200 Northport High School students joined in on the national event.
The local walkouts included speeches about the gun violence prevention movement, and the reading of the names of the Texas victims. A moment of silence followed the speeches.
The Kings Park students circulated a petition in 2018 when they were in William T. Rogers Middle School in response to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, according to a statement from the group of students.
“We were angry that this didn’t end with Parkland,” the statement read. “That this didn’t end with Sandy Hook. That this didn’t end with Columbine. That children still have to fear going to school and that we still need to have national walkout events to protest the epidemic of gun violence in our country.”
Among the Kings Park students was senior Isabella Lenarduzzi. During a phone interview, she said she was angry after hearing about the Texas shooting and felt as if she needed to do something. When she saw the post from Students Demand Action, she reached out to her friend Jesse Gunnell, and they created a group chat with fellow students to come up with ideas about what they could do.
“People are really angry about it,” Lenarduzzi said, “Angry and passionate about it, too.”
She said parents, teachers and administrators were supportive of the students’ decisions, and they weren’t reprimanded by school personnel. She added that the teenagers stayed within the school’s courtyard to remain safe.
Hallie Schorr, a junior at Northport High School, said Northport parents, teachers and administrators were also supportive, and the students were outside for about 20 minutes.
She said she decided to participate because she’s scared for the country, herself and her father who works in a different school.
“It’s just terrifying,” she said. “I just wanted to be able to show my support and to let my school know that there are people in school who are really, really scared and want to make change.”
Schorr said she feels fortunate that she lives in a school district that is able to incorporate several security measures to protect students and staff members.
“I do feel safe in school, but it’s, I don’t know, it’s scary,” she said. “What if this happens?”