Oldham County students walk out to honor school shooting victims despite risk of punishment
As thousands of students across the country walked out of school Wednesday, Oldham County students risked punishment if they did.
GOSHEN, Ky. (WDRB) -- As thousands of students across the country walked out of school Wednesday morning, students in Oldham County risked punishment if they did.
However, at exactly 10 a.m., around 125 students from North Oldham High School walked out the school doors and gathered on the school's soccer field.
"Our point in walking out is to show the lawmakers and people who can change something that something needs to change, and we are ready for it," said Zoe Kuhn, a sophomore at North Oldham High School.
The students stood in silence for 19 minutes. The time represented the 17 students killed in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and the two students killed in the Marshall County school shooting. Every minute that students stood in the cold, a victim's name was read aloud.
"I almost had tears in my eyes hearing those names and being around people who I normally wouldn't be united with or interact with," said Hannah Terry, a senior at North Oldham High School. "In that moment, we were all there together."
The dozens of students who participated knew when they walked back into the school they would face a punishment of a 30-minute detention.
"We all agree this is something we will take the fall for, because it's something we're all very passionate about," said Clara Welch, a junior at North Oldham High School.
North Oldham High School students who were unable to go outside filled the hallways in silence.
The Oldham County School District did not want any students walking out because of safety reasons. According to the district, less than 20 students walked out at South Oldham High School. At Oldham County High School, about 30 students left the building in protest. Those students also faced consequences.
The district decided to take a different approach to the day and asked students to stand up instead of walk out. Each high school planned different indoor stations where students could participate in activities. At South Oldham High School, students were able to write letters to congressmen and women, register to vote, write letters to Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Marshall County High Schools and send cards to shooting victim's families.
"I chose not to walk out, because I think all voices deserve to be heard," said Tatie Bright, a senior at South Oldham High School. "This is a really good way for our voices to be heard, a more effective way, in my opinion."
South Oldham High School chose to remember the 19 victims in the two shootings by lighting 19 candles in the school's lobby.
Nationally, there is another walkout day scheduled for April 20 to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
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