On February 21, the student body participated in a nationwide walkout to bring awareness following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. Makos wore white and stood in solidarity. Posters held read expressions such as: “We should have drawn the line at Columbine” and “Am I next?” Seniors engaged with the crowd through a series of speeches including Chelsea Thomas, Gabriella De Gracia, and Jessica Solair.
“In light of such tragedy, I thought it was important to speak out in support of the people affected by this. Also to bring awareness to the problems that we as the up and coming generation need to come together to solve such as the stigmation against mental illness and lack of accountability that led to the perpetrator choosing this act, ” senior Chelsea Thomas said.
Administration was supportive of students expressing their First Amendment right. Students were allowed to stand in the field from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. There were differing opinions on the location and time constraint of the walkout.
“I’m glad we got to protest, but at the same time having the restrictions of 30 minutes and being only on the field where no one could see us made it seem like what we felt and wanted to say to the public wasn’t necessarily important to some of the adults,” senior Sophia Vargas said. Seniors Louis Boucard and Guillermina Abella spoke at the Key Biscayne Candlelight Vigil held at the Civic Center Oval Plaza. “I have always been very concerned on how the U.S. has dealt with mass shootings, especially in schools. I’m very thankful I was given the opportunity to express my opinion on gun control and give new ideas on how school shootings can be prevented. I feel like all these horrible cases have paved a path for we, the students, to speak on how we feel about the issue. It’s time for a change and we’re going to be the ones pushing it, ” senior Guillermina Abella said.
In the upcoming weeks, Makos will continue to stand with the cause. Clubs such as Quill & Scroll and National English Honor Society will be writing to legislators voicing their opinions and students plan to participate in future protests.