Long Beach High School students will be among the thousands of teenagers expected to walk out of their schools on March 14 as part of a national movement to honor the victims killed in the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. and to protest gun violence.
“I’m not saying I know the solution to make our environment a safer place, but I do know there needs to be more done by Congress and many others,” said Madison Gusler, a Long Beach High School junior who is organizing the walkout, at the March 8 Board of Education meeting.
Gusler said she reached out to school officials to make sure they were aware that she registered the school for the event.
“The reason I signed the school up for the walkout is because I agree with the message they have that there needs to be more action,” Gusler said, adding that the purpose of the walkout is “to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet ‘thoughts and prayers’ in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”
The students who choose to participate are expected to exit the school at 10 a.m. and walk to the football field, where they would stand silently for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 people killed in Parkland.
Interim Schools Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Gallagher said at the meeting that she and other school officials would be in contact with Gusler and other student activists to discuss how LBHS could be “a school that helps our students take stands, but is neutral about what those stands are.”
Gallagher said a letter would be sent to parents of students in the high school on March 9.
“Civic engagement is part of all of our responsibilities,” she said, “and I feel proud of LBHS for producing someone who is taking that responsibility seriously.”
Additionally, Long Beach will host a sister march in solidarity with March for Our Lives on March 24 to support the nationwide student movement for stricter gun-control legislation. Organized by Board of Education Vice President Darlene Tangney and former Councilwoman Fran Adelson, the march will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in Kennedy Plaza.