Wellesley Community Gathers to Honor Victims of Parkland, Fla., High School Tragedy
About 200 Wellesley students, faculty, and staff walked out of their classrooms and offices on the morning of March 14 as part of a national protest against gun violence, honoring the victims of the February 14 tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Carolyn Price ’21, who co-organized the walkout, said, “We stand here today not only as a united Wellesley community, but as a united country. We hope to take this time to pay tribute to the lives lost during the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and demand action from lawmakers to ensure that the traumatic and devastating attacks on communities like Sandy Hook, Columbine, and now Parkland never happen again.”
Beth Awano ’21, also a co-organizer, added, “Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school. Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”
During the protest, which began with students leaving their classrooms at 10 a.m., members of College Government distributed flowers and orange ribbons, the official color of the national school walkout. One student held a sign that read, “End Gun Violence.”
Organizers also distributed 17 red and white balloons, one for each victim of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. They were released individually at one-minute intervals during the silent vigil.
Across the country, the words of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Wellesley class of 1912, after whom the Parkland school was named, became a rallying cry for protestors, according to a CNN news article.
"Be a nuisance when it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics—but never give up."