Lamplighter Media Productions

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Why I’m Walking Out

Junior Abby Wheatley is helping to lead the walk-out at Dunbar on March 14. This is why.

Like many of you, I was in middle school when the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary took place. I was 12. That was the first time I felt scared to come to school.

After middle school, I can’t even count on my hands and feet how many school shootings I saw in the news. When I became interested in journalism, I started watching more news. I joined PLD Lamplighter, and then I realized that I knew more about what was happening in the world because I was paying more attention. I joined the Student Voice Team at Dunbar because knowing more made me want to do more. But it isn’t always easy to be strong.

Last year, at age 16,  I started breaking down because I was tired of living in fear. Day after day, I became more afraid to walk into school because there was a chance I might not walk out. The place where I used to feel comfortable is now the place where I’ve memorized escape routes.

This year, the mass shooting in Marshall County was too close for comfort, so when we had an unexpected lockdown at Dunbar, I was convinced it was real. I was aiding the special needs students when the announcement was made. We all looked at each other in panic. I helped arrange two students under the tables before sitting down myself, and then I held their hands so tightly. I texted my brother, my mom, my best friend, my girlfriend, my classmates in the building to tell them I loved them. It was terrifying.

Then after Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School, I watched teens say enough is enough. I was inspired by their courage to not just be afraid, but to do something about it. And that’s what the walk-out is about. It’s time to ask lawmakers to #dosomething.

Please join me and the other student organizers tomorrow after first block. Beginning at 10 a.m., we’ll be gathering in Dunbar’s GYM to show solidarity and present the united message to lawmakers that we can no longer live in fear. It’s time to make some changes.

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5 Responses to “Why I’m Walking Out”

  1. Sandy Godecker on March 13th, 2018 5:54 PM

    Thank you for sharing your fears with others. As a retired teacher and grandmother, I am also afraid for student safety today. It seems that a new generation will have to take the reins on this one since many of my generation are unable or unwilling to step up. I am proud of Fayette County Schools – teachers, administration, counselors, and students – after reading the plans for tomorrow in today’s Herald-Leader. Thanks to all of you. Believe me, I know it’s not easy.

  2. Mckayla Knox on March 13th, 2018 9:43 PM

    Ok, Dunbar was threaten the kid was charged I’m walking out because our school has been threatened three times by the same kid. Who you should know post pictures of guns and money all the time. The kid does not get charged and honestly gets little to no punishment. We are not safe in schools and records of school shootings have proven that. So why are people not wanting to see the facts. I’m walking out because if I don’t the next generation will have the same fear the same what if they have a gun thoughts. And if we don’t stand up who will?

  3. Zay on March 14th, 2018 12:39 AM

    We all may have a voice but there not going to be an immediate change , these type of tragedy’s could happen every day, things happen like this everyday I think we all just need to learn how to deal with it , and live with it , that’s all we can do. Makeing the age to buy weapons doesn’t change anything when they turn 20-21 they can still go buy a weapon n use it however they like so it’s really not preventing a cause n I think the promblem with guns and school shootings will never be solved , u can’t tell who crazy in the mind or is about to do sum bad.

  4. Abigail Hendren on March 14th, 2018 12:29 PM

    Thanks for your input, Zay. Yes, these things will always be a problem. But as students who exercise our voices, we choose to advocate for making any change that could be possible to lessen these tragedies, and we encourage you to do so as well.

  5. Greg Drake on March 14th, 2018 8:52 AM

    It’s encouraging to see students actively engaged in addressing the problem of school shootings. I hope this will stir adults to become more unified in their approach to reducing violence.

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