UPPER ARLINGTON (WCMH) — Several hundred students at Upper Arlington High School walked out of the building at noon on Wednesday joining thousands of other students across the country in remembering the 17 people killed last week in a school shooting in Florida.
The walkout was organized by 17-year-old Clare Driscoll and 16-year-old Dylan Carlson-Sirvend, both juniors at Upper Arlington.
“What I think we want the nation to know and what we want people here to know is that all students want to see change,” Carlson-Sirvend said. “They want to know that they’re being protected.”
Upper Arlington school superintendent Paul Imhof said the administration embraced the students’ desire to have their voices heard.
“It has to stop and if it’s the kids who lead us, that’s great,” Imhof said. “But we need to come together as communities and do everything we can at the local, state and national levels to keep our kids safe.”
The walkout at Upper Arlington lasted 17 minutes. The names of the 17 victims in Florida were read aloud followed by a period of silence.
“We live in a reality where students and teachers are coming to school thinking of the hypotheticals of what could happen in a mass shooting,” Carlson-Sirvend said.
“It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to take some time but with persistence and continued effort I think we can make a difference.”
A similar noontime walkout took place at Dublin’s Scioto High School. And at Grove City High School, some students gathered in the gymnasium for a moment of silence and a discussion about how to participate in a movement for change.