Students around Mobile County walked outside Wednesday to remember the 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and the one at Huffman High in Birmingham.
These respectful observances, which occurred on the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, were voluntary and organized by students with the approval and guidance of administrators and counselors. Among the schools with participating groups were Murphy, Baker, Davidson, Theodore, Alma Bryant, B.C. Rain and Williamson high schools and Phillips Preparatory, as students observed moments of silence and, at some schools, released balloons in honor of the victims.
“It can happen anywhere, anytime and it’s so sad that it can happen in a school, a place that’s supposed to be safe where you can learn and commune with others,” said Baker student Megan Holloway. “I think it’s important that we all remember that it can happen to us.”
Baker principal Clem Richardson said his school’s observance, which included a walk around the parking lot, music, and the releasing of 18 balloons for each of the Stoneman Douglas and Huffman victims, was organized by a student who came to administrators at the school about the idea. The school then formed a committee to plan the event, which drew hundreds of students.
“It’s really come together and really proud of the students with the way they came out and showed us today that they do respect what’s going on in our schools,” Richardson said. “Their behavior in this walk is exemplary. I’m very proud of them today.”
At Williamson, a panel discussion was also organized to discuss ways to discourage violence and enhance safety in schools.
“We wanted to make sure we were walking out with a purpose,” said Williamson High principal Kirven Lang. “We want to continue the dialogue and keep talking about what’s going on and how we can prevent incidents like this from happening in our school.”