Students, Teachers, Administration, and Staff at Carbondale Area Junior/Senior High School joined a nationwide movement on March 14, 2018 to peacefully protest violence in schools. The National School Walkout was held on this date as part memorial, part protest, as it was the first month anniversary of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The walk consisted of 17 minutes designed to honor the 17 victims lost in the Parkland shooting.

In a very organized and united effort, students marched around the school showing solidarity against any kind of bullying or violence in our schools. At Carbondale Area, we pride ourselves on being a “bully-free” zone where each student’s uniqueness in not only tolerated but respected. Students join our B.R.O.C. (Bully Resistance Organization Crew) and are shown in the picture wearing their club tee shirts.

According to Women’s March Youth Empower, more than 3,100 walkouts are planned at schools nationwide (and a few internationally). Our students joined in that effort by marching, making signs, and holding class discussions on the scars that violence and bullying leave behind for our families and community.

We want our students to feel safe; we want them to feel at home in our school community. We don’t want Parkland to represent just “another school tragedy.” We want our demonstration to serve as a start to crusading across the country to prevent these tragedies from ever happening again.

Joseph Martin, Grade 11, is the president of B.R.O.C. club here at CA. When asked how he feels about our peaceful demonstration against violence he said, “I like the idea that we are connecting with people across the country to prevent these tragedies from ever happening again. I think that the walkout that we had is actually a good thing because it brings to light the problems that bullying can create and helps to lead us in a direction where we can help others get the emotional help they need before such disasters occur. My motto is, “when students stand strong, helpers join with them to stand even stronger.”

The students are shown in the picture with their teachers flanked by administrators, Mr. Joseph W. Farrell, CA High School Principal and Mr. Robert Mehalick, Superintendent of Schools for the Carbondale Area School District.