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South Dakota Students Participate In National Walkout

Chynna Lockett

Students around the country participated in a Walk Out this morning protesting gun violence. Rapid City’s Central High School was one of many across South Dakota to participate. 

At 10 a.m., the hallways filled with hundreds of nearly the two thousand high school students. They walked out during their classes and met in the theater. Five students sat on stage and explained why.

The students read off names of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida.

The auditorium filled with somber faces and some tears during a moment of silence that followed. Nate Tippmann is a 16 year old sophomore. He helped organize the event to end gun violence.

“Those kids were our age. They were students like we are. And knowing that that could be any one of us, I just feel for them. And so I feel like it needs to end. It needs to stop.”

The student organizers asked the crowd to sign letters to state representatives revealing their feelings about gun violence and concerns for their safety. Elysa Forst is a 17 year old Junior.

Credit Chynna Lockett

“We had to stay in the school for it. I understand safety reasons but I feel like we needed our voices heard and they wouldn’t really be able to hear it if we were just inside the school.”

The letters were left out in school after the event so more students had time to sign them. Emily Washington is an 18 year old senior. She says the walk out united the students.

“When people come together as one, for one topic that they’re passionate about, it says so much about the younger generation and how we think and what we think is important.”

School administration worked with student organizers to create a safe space for this demonstration. Students are planning upcoming marches outside of school.