Hundreds of students walkout of James Island schools

Source: Madeleine Albertson
Source: Madeleine Albertson
Source: Madeleine Albertson
Source: Madeleine Albertson

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. Wednesday to remember the 17 students killed in Florida last month and protest gun violence.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School happened exactly one month ago.

Some of the activities by Charleston County students, to remember the victims, that occurred were peaceful gatherings outside, silent gatherings inside, students locking arms throughout hallways, assemblies promoting peace and even students walking laps for each of the 17 lives lost.

"We all just stood there and respected the silence and what it meant to celebrate those who lost their lives in any massive shooting and the current one that happened one month ago in Florida," said James Island Charter High School senior Sydney Lafayette. "It was also a protest against gun violence and restrictions."

Lafayette said hundreds of students participated in the walkout.

"I would say about one-third to two-thirds of students walked out," Lafayette said.

For safety reasons, the school had students gather in the courtyard which is more toward the center of the school – not out in front and in the open.

But not every student participated.

While everyone agreed we should remember the 17 lives lost in the Florida shooting last month – some didn't agree a protest should happen during school or on school grounds.

"I believe they should be remembered and the families should definitely be remembered," said Jacob Broderick, an eighth grader at Camp Road Middle School. "But if you want to do that, do it away from school definitely not in school hours and don't disrupt our learning sessions."

"It's a huge disruption," Gene Broderick, Jacob's dad said. "There is a time and place for anything. School is to teach children."

Other said, however, this entire situation revolves around school.

"I feel like if the shooting happened during school time then the protest should be during school time," Lafayette added.

Students who participated in the walk said they're not stopping at the walkout.

"Students perception about what's going on, especially since it concerns students, is very important in this world as far as lawmaking and being future voters," Lafayette said. "It's very important that we start now."

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