MHS Joins the Nation in Protesting Gun Violence


Nadia Langley

Middleton High School joins other schools protesting gun violence across the country on March 14 in an organized National School Walkout.

Student organizers at MHS have coordinated the day with key events all students can be involved in.

First, students will meet in Fireman’s Park at 10:00 AM, immediately after fifth block. Along with many schools across the country, Middleton High School will take 17 minutes to pay tribute to each of the 17 victims of the February 14 Parkland shooting.

Influential members of our community have been invited to Fireman’s Park to speak to the gathered students about their right to school safety. The current lineup of speakers includes Democratic State Representative Dianne Hesselbein, Democratic State Senator Jon Erpenbach, and former Republican State Senator Dale Schultz.

The student organizers made an effort to host speakers representing both political parties. “We wanted to make this a bipartisan event,” Claudine Loop, a senior and one of the students organizing the walkout, explained.

At noon, the event will continue at East High School, where MHS students will meet other protest participants from all the other Madison area schools as well as Lodi High School and Waukesha High School. Buses will be provided to students for transportation to East High School on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The plan from there is to walk down East Washington Street with students from the other schools to the Capitol and participate in a sit-in protest until 6 pm.

Buses to bring MHS students back to school will depart from Capitol Square at 3:00 PM.

Organizing this event, while a detailed process, has not been met by any major roadblocks.

Several student organizers obtained the legal permits to organize within the city because, as senior and one of the student organizers Peter Optiz explained, “We just wanted to make sure that everything we would be doing was good in a legal standpoint before we approached administration.”

Loop commented on Middleton’s administration involvement in the planning process, saying, “So far they’ve been very accommodating. We’ve had meetings with Dr. Plank, and he’s been very receptive to our ideas.”

The administration has made several requirements, including asking all students who wish to participate in the March 14 walkout be called out from school by their parents.

When asked what the MHS student body should take from this event, Loop said, “I hope that the students at this school are willing to join us in making their voices heard.”