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At Great Neck North High School

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A white balloon tied with a ribbon of orange captures the hearts of around 50 people as it peacefully floats away. One minute would pass before the next balloon is released: the moments in between are used to remember the names of those who have passed away. In 17 minutes, 17 balloons were released to recognize the 17 people who were murdered in the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In those 17 minutes, every student and teacher standing in the front of Great Neck North High was surrounded by silence as each individual who participated in the walkout paid their condolences.

The students of Great Neck North left their classrooms Wednesday morning alongside thousands of other students nationwide. This walkout was a memorial, a way for the country to honor the victims of Parkland. The walkout also represented a political call for action against gun control, propagating unified message that “Enough is Enough.”

This walkout was organized by senior Adi Sragovich, who was galvanized when she saw students her age protesting and pushing officials to enact gun reform laws. “It really invigorated me. I feel like my generation is finally coming into its moment,” Sragovich said last Thursday. “Unfortunately, that power comes from the fact we’re the ones being hunted and killed.”

Despite the walkout being a student effort at first, teachers also stepped out of the building to honor the event and its cause. Mr. Holtzman, Ms. Babkes, Mr. Gilden, and other teachers were present, showing that they acknowledge and support the student body’s actions. Hopefully, there will be change inspired by this unified call so that students and teachers would no longer be victims of school shootings.

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