Morgan Park Academy students marked the National School Walkout on Wednesday, March 14, by gathering to protest gun violence and to remember those killed in last month’s Florida school shooting.
About 250 Upper School and Middle School students, faculty, and staff assembled in the campus quad, Jones Bowl, at 10:00 a.m. Many wore orange, which is associated with gun violence prevention, including T-shirts that MPA’s Service Council created and sold to raise several hundred dollars for the non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety.
Upper School leaders of Service Council and Student Council read the names of the 17 students and teachers killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and led a moment of silence in their memory.
“Student leadership is important part of the Morgan Park Academy experience,” Head of School Mercedes Z. Sheppard said. “Our school mission focuses on educating independent thinkers and preparing the global leaders of tomorrow to make a positive difference in the world, so I was glad to see our students using their voices today in a passionate way.”
Students performed an original poem and spoke of the urgent need to end gun violence of all kinds, especially school shootings:
“We are all hurt, disappointed, and angry. You can act on this too, whether it is writing a letter to the government or creating a petition. You have a voice. …
“We can let our voices be heard to raise awareness on this issue. We are anti-gun violence. We are anti-school shooting. We are anti-teachers being armed. We are anti-being scared at the most important place we should feel safe.

“We encourage you to use your voice to ask for what you need, to stand up for what your community needs, to make a difference for what your country needs to create a safer environment for future generations.”