PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Wednesday, in every time zone at 10 a.m., students at high schools across the country will walk out of class to protest violence and show support for the victims of the massacre in Parkland, Florida.
Students in more than 30 local schools will be among them.
Instead of walking out, students at Moon Area High School will be spending their morning writing letters to their lawmakers, asking for change and more mental health professionals in schools.
“I feel like that walkouts are great because they provide light on the situation, like they’re being acknowledged. But I just feel like it’s a more reactive response. Like something happened so we will walk out. But we should do something to prevent anything from happening,” said Izabella Angevine, a 10th grader at Moon Area High School.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
Many Moon Area students will spend Wednesday morning at school computers, emailing Pa. State Rep. Mark Mustio and State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, asking them to change our laws to place more mental health professionals in schools.
“We would just like to see a lot of kids getting the help they need more than anything. Some kids really do need help and we just don’t have the services in our schools to provide that for them,” said Angevine.
“I think they want answers. They don’t want the politicians to be able to say, ‘Hey we got this email and we don’t have an answer for you,’” said Barry Balaski, Principal of Moon Area High School.
At Brashear High School, over 300 students have signed up to participate in the National School Walkout.
When asked what it will accomplish, 10th grader Autumn Annan told KDKA this: “It’s only a start. It will accomplish something, but it’s only a start.”
“We obviously honor our students’ constitutional rights, and if this is an important topic to them — we know it’s an important topic to us — then we support them in their choices,” said Melissa Friez, Assistant Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools.
It’s clear students at both schools share the same priority of increasing safety, but have differing approaches.
“I think there should be tighter security, a better lookout. How we have metal detectors, more schools need that,” said Annan.
“Prevention, I think it the biggest thing. If we can prevent anyone from feeling that way to begin with then we can solve the problem,” said Angevine.