Hingham High Students Join National Walkout


Will Sutton

Junior Emma Busby addresses the crowd.

Will Sutton, Photography Editor

The morning of March 20th, Hingham High students participated in the National School Walkout, demanding legislation to end gun violence in schools and communities. The protest comes about five weeks after the horrific attack at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. The majority of participating students across the United States walked out of class last Wednesday, but snow days forced HHS students to postpone their protest.

The walkout this morning was student-organized and student-led. The administration, after learning about plans for the walkout, pledged support and provided students with audio equipment and verbal support.

Principal Rick Swanson ensured students would not face punishment for their participation, but also stressed the importance of allowing the event to be student-led. He explained, “I had high expectations for it, which is why I felt comfortable placing such trust in our student leaders to organize this.”

At 10:00 AM, after about 500-800 students gathered on the turf, Junior Emma Busby gave a brief introduction, stressing the importance of using social media to spread the protest’s mission:

“We stand in solidarity We stand in solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman
Douglas and demand immediate action to protect our lives from gun violence.”

Next, Sophomore Tehya Coflin read a poem written by a Stoneman Douglas student about the attack. This was followed by 17 student speakers reading the names and stories of the 17 students and staff members who lost their lives on February 14. The audience listened in somber reverence before recognizing a moment of silence to honor the victims.

Finally, Junior Molly Schwall, who attended elementary school in Parkland before she moved to Hingham, delivered a powerful speech, detailing her personal reactions to the tragedy and her consuming fear of gun violence in school. Schwall then criticized legislators for their lack of action to prevent school shootings, citing the influence of groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) for impeding progress on the issue. She concluded by calling upon students to take action, through voting (if eligible), calling representatives, attending later protests, spreading the word on social media, and unifying behind the cause. Schwall declared, “We can come together and demand that a tragedy like the one in Parkland never happens again. Never again.”