Branford students are working to join in a national event next month when students plan a nationwide walkout against gun violence.
Part of the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, the movement asks for students, administrators and others to take part on a school walkout for 17 minutes at 10 AM on March 14, a protest of the gun issues and lack of action politically.
In Branford, the event has been started by Branford high student Abby Boyle and her fellow classmates Andrew Debenidictis, Jayleen Flores and Mary Olearczyk.
“With everything that has been going on, we feel hopeless,” said Boyle. “We want to do something.”
The students are working with Branford High principal Lee Panagolias on the details of the event, which will likely include the students walking out to the field behind the school, and speeches for 17 minutes to honor the victims in the Florida tragedy.
Local mother, educator and Board of Education member Shannen Sharkey says she supports the effort, but for safety reasons, wants to ensure the students remain on school grounds.
“We should support them and stand in solidarity with them, and allow them to exercise their freedom of speech,” she said. “This is a nationwide movement and it's young people who are leading the way.
“While, I fully support and applaud BHS students showing solidarity with their peers across the nation, I believe it is imperative that they remain on school grounds.”