By Brigid Clifford, Editor-in-Chief
Thousands of students across the country participated in the #ENOUGH: National School Walkout on March 14, and the Trinity Hall community was no exception. At 10 a.m., students voluntarily stood outside for 17 minutes in remembrance of the 17 students and faculty who lost their lives in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL on Feb. 14.
On the cold Wednesday morning, on the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, many members of the student body gathered in the courtyard in the back of the building. In addition to the 17 minutes of silence that were called for by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who organized the National Walkout, a prayer service was incorporated to honor the victims, survivors and their families.
Freshman Maggie Crowe took the lead in organizing the prayer service, with input from the student council and guidance from campus minister Sister Mariann Mahon. “I felt like the Walkout was something that was important for us as a community to be a part of because what happened in Florida affects all of us,” Crowe said.
At the student council meeting on March 5, representatives from each grade level spent time discussing what elements they thought were important to include and how they wanted the service to be organized. The faculty wanted the planning to come directly from the students, as it is a student-driven movement.
“As a Catholic school, it was important to incorporate prayer. It is just as necessary and important for us to include as the Walkout itself,” Crowe said.
The service began with a prayer to end gun violence followed by a prayer in honor of those who have lost their lives to gun violence. The names of each of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting were read aloud, and the victims of the Las Vegas, Pulse Nightclub, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Sutherland Springs Church, and Columbine High School shootings were honored as well. The remainder of the 17 minutes were spent in respectful silence to commemorate the victims, and the service concluded with the Trinity Prayer.
Student feedback from the Walkout was positive, and Crowe said that people were grateful for the way it was run and the tone of the event.
“I honestly felt empowered and felt like I was making a difference,” said senior participant Olivia DeNicola. “Because we did a prayer service outside, I think we steered away from the politics of the situation and focused on the 17 lives lost and the families who lost their loved ones. This made the Walkout really powerful for me.”
Participation in the Walkout was completely optional, and students who chose not to participate were fully supported and invited to remain inside supervised classrooms during the service.