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Whitewater students give up 17 minutes for Florida’s fallen 17

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Whitewater students give up 17 minutes for Florida’s fallen 17

Benjamin Pierce, Assistant News Editor

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For 17 minutes, clocks ticked as approximately 100 desks at Whitewater High School sat empty Wednesday.

Whitewater High School students participated in a nationwide walkout at 10 a.m. The event was partly in memoriam for the 17 students and faculty who lost their lives in last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida; it also served as an advocacy push for changes to gun policies in the United States.

Students worked with the high school’s presidential board to see how they could participate in the walkout in the most productive and respectful way.

“They wanted to get the message out,” Whitewater High School Principal Mike Lovenberg said. “They wanted to do it peacefully.”

The Whippets stood outside of the school for 17 minutes – one minute for each of the lives lost in the Feb. 14 shooting at the Florida high school. Faculty members not teaching at the time stood outside to supervise the students.

The walkout was organized in a collective effort by students. The school’s staff was supportive of the event. Lovenberg said the impact from the event will run far longer than the 17 minutes that those desks were empty.

“They did a nice job with it and they did it respectfully. Part of being a young person and a citizen is learning that if you see something that isn’t right you do something about it. That is why we have our freedoms,” said Lovenberg, who is also a former history teacher.

Students returned to classes after the walkout, and the rest of the day went on as planned.

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Whitewater students give up 17 minutes for Florida’s fallen 17