This letter is fictional and created by the author, designed to voice the concerns of LFHS students.
Dear Mr. Deering,
My name is JD, and I am a student at LFHS. My concern involves the the upcoming “student-led” walk out. I struggle to say student-led–and thereby place it in air quotes–simply because it is no longer that. It’s nice that the school embraced something that was ours, but I hope they let us students control this event. It is a message that we, as a student body, are trying to send.
I would like to start off by addressing the underclassmen of our school. This is an opportunity to be a part of something truly monumental. It is a way to get involved in a national movement for a truly important cause. It is a movement that you can support regardless on your feelings on gun policy. It is simply a way to convey a point: the US needs to resolve the school shooting issue. I encourage all underclassman to partake in this historical, upcoming event. Please do bear in mind that this is not a joke. The Walkout on March 14 is going to be a serious event for students (myself included). I do not mean that you should be completely silent or extremely somber, I simply am asking for everyone to show a necessary level of respect for the event and its magnitude. It is not funny that we get to leave school for seventeen minutes, and it is not time to try to be the center of attention. I realize you’re young; I once was in your shoes myself. However, please understand the meaning behind the walk-out, and respect it for what it is.
Upperclassmen, we also need to understand the magnitude of this event. Let’s take this seriously ourselves, though we are at a point in our high school careers where it can be difficult at times to play within the rules. It will be unbelievably disrespectful for us to take this as a reason to ditch school. I understand, as a second semester senior, that being in class all day is not the most appealing course of events. It is necessary to come to school March 14 for the full day, and stay for the full day. Obviously, if there is a legitimate, unmissable doctor’s appointment or family emergency, that would take precedent. However, we need to show up and demonstrate some sort of class unity and respect for others. Ditching school after the walk out would be extremely disrespectful, and would be a temporary benefit for immature behavior. Please understand that this isn’t a reasonable excuse to get out of a school day. Don’t have your parents call you out; don’t overextend your lunch hour; don’t spin some impulsively concocted lie to the deans or to the attendance office; just show up. As a friend or many kids in both the junior and senior grade, I am asking that you please do not ditch during the walkout.
Thank you for your time to all who read this. Once again, let us understand that this walkout is something truly meaningful. And from one kid to another, please take it seriously.