Approximately 150 Jarvis Middle School students gathered in the school auditorium at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 14 as an expression of support for Parkland High School. The date marks the one month anniversary of the tragic school shooting that killed 17 students and staff.
“I knew we had some students who wanted to do something in light of the highly publicized walkouts being held across the nation,” said Jarvis principal Melissa Hoskey.
During advisory, she invited any interested students to the auditorium. There, she explained to roughly 60 students that she would open the auditorium to provide students with a secure environment to meet. Students could leave the building only if signed out by a parent or guardian.
At 10 a.m., Hoskey estimates 150 students streamed into the auditorium. Students asked for a moment of silence in memory of the Parkland victims. She then facilitated a series of student comments, during which students stood and shared their thoughts and concerns.
“We let them speak; all I asked is that everyone would be respectful and would politely listen,” she said.
Not wanting to limit students, she allowed the gathering to continue for 25 minutes until every student received the opportunity to speak if desired. The majority of students then returned directly to their classes. About a dozen students, who felt uncomfortable in the large group, stayed behind to share directly with Hoskey.
Hoskey shared three takeaways from the gathering.
“Middle school voices are powerful. Middle school students are passionate and concerned about the direction the world is going. Middle School students want to make things better.” she said.