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By Max Erikson

GHS students join national walk-out


March 21, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Wednesday around 70 GHS students participated in the walkout. They observed 17 minutes of silence, one for each of the victims.

On March 14 Goldendale High School (GHS) students participated in the national walk-out day, joining thousands of other high school students across the country to honor the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, school shooting and bring awareness to mental health treatment and prevention.

About 70 students gathered near the Career Technical Building at exactly 10 a.m. and stood in silence for 17 minutes for the 17 victims. The event was not planned until the night before, after a late night organizing effort by two students using social media got their peers wanting and willing to participate.

Sophomore Kyla Kerns had been reading many articles about the incident and about the scheduled national walk-out day, and it motivated her to do something for GHS. Her goal was not only to honor the victims but to get people talking about mental health and not be afraid to address it.

Jaryd Cline

PEACEFUL WALK-OUT: Sophomore Kyla Kerns, left, and senior Neda Maghsadie were the organizers of last Wednesday's Goldendale High School participation in the national Walk-Out in honor of the victims of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"I had seen so many other schools saying they were doing it, so I thought we should too," Kerns says. "For me it is not a political thing but more of a way to honor the victims and bring awareness to mental health problems."

Senior Neda Maghsadie noticed Kerns' post on social media and immediately contacted her and said she really wanted to get involved. They spent the rest of the night galvanizing other GHS students, and the response they got was very positive.

"A lot of people wanted to do it and wanted to honor the victims, too," Maghsadie says. "Even though we are far away from where it happened, it still effects everybody our age, because [the victims] could be our friends, too. We need to stand together on this and not let it divide us."

GHS Principal John Westerman says he was proud of his students and how they handled the walk-out.

"It was done in a very peaceful way, and it was a respectful moment," Westerman says. "Our students took the initiative."

Both Maghsadie and Kerns are very appreciative of the turn-out and say they're grateful to everyone who participated.


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