Oceanside students plan to walk out March 14


Hundreds of students from across Nassau County are planning to take part in Wednesday’s planned National School Walkout, according to student activists and educators.

The Herald has received reports that walkouts are to take place at high schools from Valley Stream to Long Beach, Oceanside, Bellmore-Merrick, Glen Head and Oyster Bay.

The globally coordinated event will at once be a memorial to the 17 students and teachers gunned down at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla., a month ago and a demonstration to seek stricter gun controls. The group Women’s March Youth Empower is acting as the central organizer of the event, which is to take place not only in the United States, but also at schools in Europe and Australia.

The event is being called simply #Enough.

It is to take place at 10 a.m. Students are planning to walk out of their schools for precisely 17 minutes — one minute for each of the Marjory Stoneman victims.

School districts are prohibited by law from advocating for political positions, so district officials have said they cannot condone the walkout. At the same time, many are saying they support their students.

"We have met with our student government representatives who informed us that many of our students plan on participating in this walkout," OHS principal Geraldine De Carlo wrote in a letter sent to parents. "With this information in mind, our goal on March 14 will be to maintain a safe environment for those planning to participate."

A number of school districts, such as the Valley Stream Central High and Lynbrook school districts, are planning memorial services in remembrance of the Marjory Stoneman victims. Others are holding assemblies. Still others will allow students to walk out.

In Oceanside, students have said they plan to walk onto the high school's football field and read aloud over the loudspeaker the names of the 17 students and teachers killed in last month's shooting. 

Nassau police have said security is expected to be stepped up at high schools across the county.

On its website, Women’s March Youth Empower states that the walkout came about because of “Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”

“We need action,” the site states. “Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.”

Erik Hawkins contributed to this story.