17 minutes: Area students honor those who died in the Parkland school shooting
Happening Wednesday morning, local students will join others across the country in a protest against gun violence.
At 10 a.m. students will walk out of their classrooms for 17 minutes.
Their goal is to honor each of the 17 people who died at the Parkland school shooting, one month ago.
Mishawaka High School students are calling this a Unity Walk, not a walk out. They want to bring the student body together and bridge gaps in the political divide.
Each student is putting constitutional rights they’ve learned in school into action outside of the classroom.
"Our seniors in government, they are knee-deep into the constitution pretty much every day,” said Social Studies Teacher, Mike Breske.
Breske says this Unity Walk will show students how to express their First Amendment rights the proper way.
Student organizers are excited about this opportunity exercise them today.
"As it says in the First Amendment, we have a right to assemble. We have our freedom of speech. We have all of these rights but we are just growing up so we don't really know how to use them yet. So hopefully us setting this example shows the freshmen and sophomores that they can do this to starting now even,” said senior, Claudia Cates.
"Being in high school, you have the opportunity to voice your own opinions and I can get this is a good thing for us to get involved in,” said Cassidy Challberg.
Students hope their voices will be heard by people who agree and disagree-- sparking a respectful conversation to spur change.
"I think it's important that we all take time to listen to one another, even if you don't agree on things. It's OK to come together and just listen and try and figure out what's best for us,” said senior, Lina Marchi.
"To me, this is a success story when we can get young people to understand the political system and do more than just talk about it, you know, be active. Be active participants in our government and democracy,” said Breske.
During the walk, students are encouraged to talk to 17 new people. Students will also be able to register to vote.
There are many other schools also taking part in the walkout in our area.
A counselor from Culver Community High School says students are being asked to use the 17 minutes to send emails to Congress.
Students will be provided with the appropriate email addresses.
The school says some students are still planning to walk or sit outside at 10 a.m.