Dexter students walkout to honor the children and teachers who died at Robb Elementary School
A walk-out for change took place on June 2 at Dexter High School, as some students stopped their school day for a few moments to speak up and show their support for the victims of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
A group of 30 or so DHS students exited the school around 10 a.m. that day and made their way to the flagpole area in front of the school. They were led by PJ Carty, a freshman at DHS, who helped organize the walkout.
Carty spoke to the group about the deep sadness, shock and concerns the shooting brought about in many people. Also citing the recent school here in Michigan in Oxford, he said they also hope to raise awareness of this recurring situation.
The Sun Times News (STN) followed up with Carty.
He said at this point he feels like society has become desensitized to shootings and it shouldn't be that way.
He told STN that he felt they needed to have a walkout because they want people to remember that this is not normal.
“I want to show people that we will not and cannot stand by while this happens,” he said by email.
There was also a student walkout at DHS after the Oxford shooting.
Carty set up an informational website about this latest walkout.
Under a section called, Why Walkout, it says:
- Gun control is not the main focus of the walkout. Instead, we want to honor elementary school children and teachers who died
- You should walk out to show your support for the families and victims of the Uvalde shooting
The website ends with, “On May 24, Salvador Ramos walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where he killed at least 19 children and two adults. School shootings have become such a common, sickening occurrence in America and it's important that we use our voices to make change.”
The walkout wasn’t a complete surprise to the school because both the principal and assistant principal were outside at the time and there was a local law enforcement presence as well from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.
DHS Principal Melanie Nowak sent out this communication to parents and staff that morning:
Good Morning, DHS Community,
This morning at 10:00 am, a student group has employed a protest/walk-out to, “raise awareness of the recurring situation [of gun control],” and, “honor elementary school children and teachers who died,” at the recent Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas tragedy.
Schools cannot organize protests but students have a First Amendment Right to free speech and assembly. As a school, we take our responsibility to allow students the opportunities to exercise their rights while keeping them safe and maintaining an orderly school environment.
In this effort, district buses have been stationed at the entrances of DHS to keep the traffic flow on campus to a minimum, additional DCS staff have been stationed around the school and gathering area of the student activists, and additional law enforcement are present on campus. This is not an exhaustive list of our efforts but these may be some of the visible changes seen on the DHS campus this morning.
Thank you for your continued support of our students.
After Carty spoke about the walkout, he then read the names of the Uvalde victims. Those gathered observed 21 seconds of silence to honor and remember them.