I Didn’t Walk Out, By A Middle School Student

I Didn’t Walk Out, By A Middle School Student

I Didn’t Walk Out, By A Middle School Student

My 14 year old daughter, who is in 8th grade, attends a public school in the greater Puget Sound area in Washington state. I asked her if she would be willing to take notes during the day and write up a summary of what happened. She had already informed me that she would not be walking out. This is her account of what happened today at her middle (6th through 8th grade) school.

Third period starts at 9:55 am. I got into class, and people are talking about the walkout. I sat down, and the daily announcements came on over the intercom. It’s all normal news, but I feel they made the announcements intentionally longer so people would be able to leave class as soon as the announcements were done.

Once the announcements were over, my teacher (I was in English class) said to the class that the walkout was scheduled for 10 am. She stressed that either walking out or staying was our decision, “I just want it to be what you want to do.” She also reminded the class that this was meant to be serious, not an extra break or a free period. She also encouraged the kids to actually think about WHY they were walking out, and wanting to see a behavior change from the kids who did choose to walkout. She asked the students to think about the bullying angle and being kinder to others, but emphasized that the conversation should be about school safety, not gun control.

When she was done talking, it was 10 am. Out of a class of 30, only 5 students stayed in class. I was one of them. Three of the remaining students were boys who said the walkout “was stupid” and didn’t care about it. Class continued on once my teacher figured out if she needed to watch other students from a different class as well – teachers were required to provide supervision to the kids who walked out of class, as well as those who stayed.

The walkout was supposed to be over at 10:17 am. Kids actually returned to class 15 minutes after that, so the time they were actually out of class was over a half hour. When they finally did get back, the kids were dead silent, except for a few that were crying. It was weird, because none of them wanted to talk about it. We actually got a little work done in class, but it delayed a class assignment.

After English, I headed to my 4th period History class (which has my favorite teacher). It is now 10:45 am. We are preparing for big group projects and working on group goals for the class period. So, five minutes into class a girl comes in, late, and crying. She goes to my History teacher and says, “I just can’t do class today.”

He looks at her and goes, “Wanna bet?”

She glares at him and stomps off to the bathroom, and is gone another 5 minutes. She finally comes back in, sort of calmed down, and tries her very hardest to get back to work. (Mom notes the sarcasm here.) Once she was back, the teacher stopped the class to ask if anyone wanted to talk about the walkout. When no one who had actually walked out wanted to talk, class continued.

One of my group members is in tears as well, and tells me (I am the group manager for the project and I award the points on the work that is completed), “I can’t work today.”

So I look at her and go, “Your loss, your grade, get back to work.” She did not earn her points today.

I asked my teacher while the class was at work, what his opinion was on the walkout. The teachers can give opinions when asked, but not volunteer them (something my 2nd period PE teacher did not follow along with). My history teacher said the walkout was fine, but “17 minutes is not going to do much. It won’t change anything.”

On my way to lunch, I met up with friends, all of them who had done the walkout. They told me that after participating, they felt it was pointless and that they kind of wish they hadn’t done it because it was a waste of their time. One friend said, “I felt influenced by it, but it’s not gonna change my life.” None of them were crying, though. They told me that the 6th and 7th graders who had walked out did not get the memo about this being a serious matter, and treated this like a free period. And that a couple of the 8th grade boys were trying to see who could yell “penis” the loudest during the walkout.

The kids were also annoyed that there were so many adults were involved in this. Adults were playing sad music out on the field the kids were at, and adults were doing all the speaking at the walkout. The kids didn’t want to have the teachers there, and there were a lot more cars in the parking lot, which means that there were a ton of parents camping out in the parking lot, looking to be “supportive” for their kids. So much for a “student-led” walkout. The parents don’t even trust the kids to protest on their own, because we’re special babies who must be protected! And we should vote at 16! But we’re not smart enough to own a gun until we’re 21, right?

This was pointless. It didn’t memorialize the people who died at all. This was a sad excuse for a political statement. But I’m sure it will look great in the yearbook at the end of the year, and now everyone is busy putting up Instagram posts about how much they care.

I actually witnessed one of the high schools in the area letting their kids walk to the University of Washington for their rally today – and it lasted a lot longer than the 17 minutes.

The next protest will be the one on Saturday, March 24th, headlined by the Parkland students and their GoFundMe sponsors.

The national protests in Washington DC might be the ones that drive all the news stories tonight, but I think getting a first-hand account from students on the ground, who don’t get cameras shoved in their faces or their names in the news, is a more truthful account of the experiences of hundreds of thousands of students from across the country.

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  • Jodi says:

    Great job, young lady. And your mom rocks. 😉

  • Richard says:

    Great piece, informative , personal, and objective, a small slice the the day’s events. I’ m wondering who is funding the demonstrations. Who pays for the travel and the speakers? Who sent the kids to
    Washington D.C.?

  • James Trigg says:

    What is the point of the walkout if the teachers are involved?

  • Timmy says:

    Why is this led by woman’s march? Woman’s March is hardly a grass roots children’s movement.

  • GWB says:

    Your daughter is well on her way to being a success, Deanna! Critical thinking, aware of how to get answers, and she swims against the flow.
    Thank you for that perspective.

  • Linda Fox says:

    As opposed to the 9/11 Remembrance at my former school, which was guided by adults’ supervision, but the students participated in enthusiastically. The students who attended were quite respectful and somber.

  • harleycowboy says:

    Will there be a walkout to protest the failure of the school’s safety protocols? Will there be a walkout to protest the failure of the school security personnel? Will there be a walkout to protest the failure of the system that should have gotten this boy into some sort of treatment?
    No. No. No. None of that matters because it’s a failure of society set up by socialists and cannot be discussed.

  • […] of the writers at The Victory Girls blog has a daughter who didn’t walk out and she gives her account of how the day went, and the […]

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