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DHS students join in ‘Enough!’ walkout

Approximately 75 students at Demopolis High School participated in the Enough! National School Walkout in recognizing the victims of February’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and to protest gun violence in schools. The walkout took place on March 14, the one-month anniversary of the Florida school shooting.

The participating students walked out of DHS at 10 a.m. and stayed outside until 10:18 a.m. Each minute that passed represented a victim from the Florida school shooting plus an additional minute for Courtlin Arrington, a Birmingham student who died due to an accidental shooting at Huffman High School on March 7.

“I just hope that participating in this today will just bring, for the most part, more realization to not only the students but to parents and bystanders as well,” said DHS’s Student Government Association President Xaviar Jackson.

According to Jackson, the students joined together for a short prayer followed by a short talk about gun violence before standing in silence for the remainder of the time.

Jackson said that he specifically was there to “honor the victims and the lives that were lost, and another side of that was because I do carry the title of student body president, and I was representing those who wanted to participate but just somehow didn’t.”

The students’ participation in the walkout was a collective effort rather than led by one particular student or organization.

Principal Blaine Hathcock said that the school supported the students as long as things were done in an organized and purposeful manner.

“I think it is important as a school and a school system that we support our students in an appropriate manner,” he said, adding, “As things come up we will search for ways where it is not a school-day interruption to address issues.”

According to the official website for the walkout, over 3,000 schools had committed to participating.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, March 17 issue of the Demopolis Times.)