Hawaii students to walk out of class as part of nationwide push for safer schools


It’s hard to forget images of students running for their lives after a gunman opened fire inside a Parkland, Fla. High school three weeks ago.

Seventeen people were gunned down, and now many are saying enough is enough.

On Wednesday, March 14, students across the country, and here in Hawaii, are planning to walk out of class to send a message.

Theresa Schubert’s classroom at Farrington High School was buzzing Tuesday with students diligently planning every detail of the upcoming walkout.

Plans include the hashtag that they’ll be using on social media: #Govs4SafeSchools.

Under Shubert’s leadership, students all have different roles, but share the same message: standing in support of the national movement against gun violence, and remembering those killed in Florida.

Franchesca Aguilar, Farrington’s student body president, is just one of the students who helped organize the walkout.

Aguilar wants students to stand together as one next Wednesday. 

“We want them to see that this is a moment that we are taking together, and that Farrington is a part of this bigger movement. We’re not just by ourselves. We want them to know we are with them through this process of healing,” Aguilar said.

On March 14 at 10 a.m, students will walk out of class and onto the main lawn at Farrington, reading the names of the 17 victims, and taking a moment of silence.

“This big movement shows that we want to be safe in our school as well as have a say, because we all have a voice,” said Farrington student Angela Grace Piso.

On Tuesday, students made orange ribbons. Orange is used by many who support gun control.

Claire Marie Alegre, another student helping coordinate the walkout, says she and others want everyone to feel safe at school.

“We say Govs for safer schools, so that’s what our voice is,” she said. “We’re saying that it’s enough, that we shouldn’t have to be going through this, because our school is supposed to be a safe place for us to learn.”

Schubert says the school supports the students, and wants to make sure during the protest students stay safe.

“I love what the students are doing. The students have a really powerful voice. We just have to facilitate it,” she said.

As for the Department of Education, superintendent Christina Kishimoto sent a letter to parents, saying she wants to make sure the walkout it peaceful, and that, “Disorderly conduct that disrupts school operations is not acceptable…” and “What we hope to gain from these experiences are student voices that help to shape how we can better design schools with safety in mind.”

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