East Penn Press

Monday, August 20, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDStudents at Emmaus High School participate in a peaceful walkout March 14 in support of students who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. This student-led event included speeches and signs such as, “Arm my brain, not my teachers.” PRESS PHOTO BY C. RICHARD CHARTRANDStudents at Emmaus High School participate in a peaceful walkout March 14 in support of students who attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. This student-led event included speeches and signs such as, “Arm my brain, not my teachers.”
PRESS PHOTO BY NICHOLAS TOTOStudents participate in a walkout March 14 at Emmaus High School. PRESS PHOTO BY NICHOLAS TOTOStudents participate in a walkout March 14 at Emmaus High School.
PRESS PHOTOS BY NICHOLAS TOTOA student holds a sign, “What if it was us?” March 14. PRESS PHOTOS BY NICHOLAS TOTOA student holds a sign, “What if it was us?” March 14.
“How Many More?” is just one of the signs students display during a peaceful walkout at Emmaus High School. Students wanted to show solidarity with the families in Parkland, Fla. “How Many More?” is just one of the signs students display during a peaceful walkout at Emmaus High School. Students wanted to show solidarity with the families in Parkland, Fla.

EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by NICHOLAS TOTO Special to The Press in Local News

‘What if it was us?’

At approximately 9:55 a.m. March 14, 800 students who attend Emmaus High School peacefully walked out of school and gathered outside in the school parking lot marking the anniversary of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla. and to honor the lives of the 17 students and staff who died Feb. 14.

In a message to the East Penn community Feb. 21, Superintendent Dr. Michael Schilder said, “We will neither encourage nor discourage student walkouts, nor will we prevent students from participating or discipline them if they do. Administration will facilitate any walkouts so that they are carried out in an organized and safe fashion. Administration will also be meeting with students to understand and assist with their concerns, be aware of their plans and to offer additional ways to express their views such as letter writing and fundraising. We want any type of protest to be a positive learning experience for students. Above all, we want their voices to be heard.”

Schilder also provided details on what the district is doing to ensure the safety of students and staff and listed the services available to students and families.

Peaceful it was.

“Speeches and signs called for unity, action and school safety and were non-political in nature,” Schilder said.

“On their own, students re-entered the building and resumed classes at approximately 10:20 a.m. Staff and law enforcement personnel were present to ensure the safety,” Schilder said.

Members of the community stood along Harrison Street with signs showing their support as well.

“As superintendent, I couldn’t be more proud of our students. The walkouts and student protests came directly from the students themselves and their conduct was exemplary. Their intelligence, maturity and passion were on full display today.

“The issue of school shootings is obviously a matter of life and death, affecting our students directly and deeply. We have not been able to stop school shootings since Columbine and now young adults feel they need to become activists on their own behalf. We must listen to their voices and act accordingly.”