‘We Want Nothing to Ever Happen Like This Again,’ Say South Fork Students Who Call for Walkout Tomorrow
“It sucks that we have to go to school and be afraid,” explained 14-year-old Nathan Baffert, a sophomore at South Fork High. “We want nothing to ever happen like this again,” he explained referring to the shooting deaths February 14 of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Although students at other local schools plan to protest later this month in support of specific gun regulation legislation such as banning bump stocks or making AR-15’s more difficult to purchase, Baffert said that South Fork High School’s walkout isn’t in support of any one piece of legislation. “We are not necessarily saying what things need to change; we’re just saying that something needs to change,” Baffert explained. “Our goal is just to raise awareness that something has to change.”
Baffert said the walkout is from a neutral position. “We need change,” he said. “Arm the teachers, have security guards…Whatever that change might be.”
The walkout has been cleared with the School Board, Baffert explained. “We are going to leave class at 10 and everyone is going to meet near Sips [a nearby coffee shop],” he said. “We are going to do 17 minutes of silence.”
He estimates that at least 100 students have indicated they will participate. “It would be cool to have some community here just for support,” Baffert said. “We are making some posters. People are welcome to bring their own.”
He added, “I hope we have a good turnout. I really want it to be a positive thing. We all just want safety… .”