Students at Eastern View High School and Culpeper County High School participated in the National Walk Out Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., a 17-minute demonstration in memory of the 17 people killed at a school shooting in Parkland, Fla. a month ago.
More than 200 students orderly filed out of Eastern View High School Wednesday morning, silently standing in bitter, windy conditions before returning to class.
Eastern View principal E.G. Bradshaw and Superintendent Tony Brads watched as the students held the moment of silence.
Bradshaw said the event was organized by Student Council Association members.
“It’s certainly a show of solidiarty across the nation,” Bradshaw said. “This was student initiated, they made the request and we felt it was appropriate to honor the request at this time.”
EVHS senior and Culpeper Youth member Riley Reynolds said it was important to participate in the walk out.
“I walked out in solidarity and in remembrance,” she said. “I walked out because a few of us were scared that if we walked out there could be a shooter there waiting for us. I walked out because for the seventeen minutes that I was outside I kept thinking “If anything goes wrong, run to your car. Run to the parking lot. Run to the football field, the woods, the road.” I walked out because when I was nervously thinking about the possibility of a shooting happening during a walk out to end the possibility of shootings, I did not once think that I should run back into my school if there was a shooting. I walked out because if there was a shooting, the school was not an option, I would feel no safer there. I walked out because whenever I leave my classroom, even to run to the restroom that’s 10 feet away, I take my keys and phone because if something happens and I have to hide in the stalls, at least I will have my keys already with me when I have to run. “
Culpeper County School Board member Marshall Keene spoke out against the movement.
“I do not support the #ENOUGH: National School Walk Out that is also taking place on the same day the students walk out of our schools,” Keene said in a statement. “I would have supported other peaceful demonstrations done in a much different setting on a different day so there would be no question what the purpose of the demonstrations are (assemblies, prayer, moment of silence, etc.). As a United States Marine veteran and career Law Enforcement Officer I hold the 1st and 2nd Amendment along with the rest of the Constitution very close to my heart.
I believe that our students are currently being manipulated by politicians and media personalities for their own purposes.
Every time a politician exploits a victim or student for their own legislative agenda, we move farther away, not closer to real solutions that will keep our students and teachers safer.”