On April 20, 2018, middle and upper school students at Kent Place participated in a National School Walkout for school safety. After the walkout, Keerthi Jayaraman (Grade 11), Lucy Lynch (Grade 12), and Gabrielle Moore (Grade 9) led an informative and thought-provoking presentation about the history of gun violence in the United States. Following the presentation, many students participated in stimulating discussions facilitated by their peers. This student-powered movement provided students with a sense of unity and purpose, and it was not part of a fad; rather, it was a powerful call to action. It is growing increasingly clear that the so-called self-centered Generation Z truly cares about important issues, and we have the passion, grit, and motivation to make change. As shown on Friday, it is just as clear that this especially holds true for Kent Place students.
Photos by Elizabeth Stahl, Grade 10
“The impact of standing in solidarity through the walkout and the events that followed would not have been as great if it weren’t for all of you. As students, we understand the importance of safety within our community. However, there are so many other parts of this subject relating to the issue of school safety. Whether outside or inside of the classroom, when a student’s life is impacted by death or violence, that should be enough to warrant attention and change. There have been too many excuses made. Too many pleads for help have been ignored. Knowing that, with everything aside, we can come together for what is right is what makes me believe we can change the future of our world for the better...and we know what has to be done. Enough is enough.” -Lucy Lynch
Photos by Grace Hillabrant, Grade 11
“When I first approached Ms. Woodall about this idea of Kent Place holding a national school walkout, I honestly did not expect so much support from the administration. [...] Although [organizing the walkout] took a lot of work and a lot of time and dedication, it was something that was very important to me, and I wanted to make sure that Kent Place gave students an opportunity to be activists, because in our school we are able to be students, athletes, leaders, but there haven’t been enough opportunities for students to be activists and discuss issues that we ‘talk about talking about.’” -Keerthi Jayaraman
Photos by Gabrielle Narcisse, Grade 11
“This is not going to be a one-time thing, this is something that we’re going to have to keep acting upon in order to enact change.” -Keerthi Jayaraman
View this playlist of speeches and more by students speaking out for school safety: