Parents and students alike have expressed concerns over Grand Rapids Public School's structuring of Wednesday's walkout. However, at City High Middle students say the district's planning has interfered little with their own.
"It’s a great thing that they are finding ways to get engaged that are productive and impactful to make the best use of this opportunity," said City High Middle principal, Ryan Huppert.
Ellie Lancaster and Gabrielle Rabon are both seniors at City. They are part of a group of students who approached Huppert about their hopes for the walkout.
"I get students concerns about the district kind of running this student-lead activity, but I do think that a lot of students are stepping up," Lancaster said.
A separate group of City students published this letter in the Rapidian, on Monday.
Reading in part: "However, many of us in GRPS think that the wording of the endorsement shifts the conversation from us students to the administration, depriving us of our voice and diluting the power of our movement."
Principal Huppert said he had no issue with those students making their opinion heard.
"We are always going to encourage students to express themselves through the forms which exist," Huppert said. "It was a very well written piece and students are entitled to their opinion on it. We want students to share what they are feeling with us and with the community. And if they do that in a positive and respectful way than more power to them."
Lancaster said they hope to honor the 17 victims by reading off their names in memoriam. Rabon will also have a table with information on how to get registered to vote.
"Even though I feel like it's something everyone can get on board with, I know a lot of people don’t agree with me," Lancaster said.
Lancaster said she understands why there are people on either side of the issue.
"A lot of people do think it's gun control versus no gun control. I know there are people who really want to fight for their Second Amendment rights, and that’s ok. As a citizen, you have the right to protect your rights. If students specifically at this school feel uncomfortable with the walkout, I think that’s totally their right -- they should do what makes them most comfortable."
But ultimately, both students said they hope this will spur a movement beyond those 17 minutes.
"Regardless of how we come to a solution, something like that [Parkland shooting] cannot happen again," Rabon said.
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