WAVE Country students unite to push for change instead of walking out

WAVE Country students unite to push for change instead of walking out
The Friends of Rachel club at JHS arranged the alternative walkout.
Jeffersonville High School. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Jeffersonville High School. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Mariane Fischer, Assistant Principal at JHS. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Mariane Fischer, Assistant Principal at JHS. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

JEFFERSONVILLE (WAVE) – Many students found a way to make their voices heard Wednesday without walking out of a school building.

10 a.m. in Jeffersonville Wednesday comes to pass with just a few students walking out. Instead, many are joined a student led call to action.

At 12:15 p.m., students hear a voice over the intercom saying, "Please leave your rooms and line up in front of your classroom door."

Instead of following the national movement and walking out on Wednesday, students chose to line the walls and honor the victims of the Parkland and Marshall County shootings a different way.

In the hallway, a moment of silence was held as each of the 19 students and teachers shot and killed in Marshall County, Kentucky and Parkland, Florida are remembered.

"It was just sad because we had the pictures up and we were just remembering what they might have gone through in those moments," Neh Thaker, a senior at Jeffersonville High School and a member of the Friends of Rachel Club, said.

The group works to honor the message of one of the students killed in the Columbine shooting. Thaker and the other club members helped organize the walkout alternative event Wednesday.

"For them to choose to do something and stay in school and do something meaningful, rather than just walk out and stand for 19 minutes, I think says a lot about our students," Mariane Fisher, Assistant Principal and sponsor of the Friends of Rachel Club, said.

Students wrote down safety concerns to address at an April 20 event, marking the anniversary of the Columbine shooting. Wednesday, students signed cards to be mailed to the schools where the shootings happened show their solidarity.

Senior Keith Asplund said he wants leaders to take notice.

"The reason we had to do something is such a terrible, terrible thing caused it," Asplund said. "So it's sad to think we had to do something in the first place. But since we've done something now, it's kind of unifying and seeing that our school is on the same page and everybody can get behind the message that something needs to change."

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In Clarksville, students penned letters and suggestions to change their own school campus.

"The way we're doing it is more proactive," Clarksville High School student Bryce Johnson. "I think it's less reactive, it's more like encouraging students to say hey, there's reasons stuff like this is happening. Kids are being bullied."

Superintendent Tina Bennett said instead of a walkout, they're encouraging their students to take that time for a walk up – helping one another through kindness and support.

"Inviting them over to their lunch table, just helping other people when they're going through troubling times whether they're in their social group or not," said Tina Bennett, Superintendent at Clarksville Community School Corporation.

At South Oldham County High School, Tatie Bright helped her students register to vote and write letters to members of Congress and area leaders to demand change.

"I think this is the civil rights movement of our generation, Bright, a senior at South Oldham County High School, said. "We have this really large problem that we want to fix as students in high school. We should feel safe doing something that is required by law."

Bright said this is about standing up and telling leaders that students here and around the country are finished with the status quo.

"Most students are and it's something we need to fix," Bright said.

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