Seniors Myka Stewart and Ali Gunn organized a walkout that took place during sixth hour on Friday, April 1. About 40 students participated.
“…There’s a lot of really horrible bills around the United States but especially in Missouri targeting trans kids, especially trans girls in sports,” Stewart said about the walkout.
After watching a video a friend had sent him about organizing a walkout nationally, Stewart reached out to the FemCo GroupMe to see if people were interested in joining.
“I was like, ‘Hey does anyone want to do this?’ and some people were like, ‘Ya that would be great. I would be interested in doing it, so then I started actually trying to organize it because it’s really important, especially in Missouri,” Stewart said.
After Stewart and Gunn had seen the interest from students they wanted to make sure it was okay with the administration.
“I talked to Ali and we both went to [principals] Dr. [Matt] Irvin and Mrs. [Madeline] Craig,” Stewart said. “I emailed them over spring break and was like, ‘Hey, we want to do this we’d love it if we could have your support in the safety part of things.’”
Some things that were talked about in the meeting with the administration were what time, how many people, goals for the walkout and where the protest was going to take place.
“I think that it went better than I expected and that more people showed up than I had expected and it felt good that everyone was there together,” Gunn said about the turnout of the walkout.
“ I was kind of afraid that not very many people were going to show up so I was really happy with the amount of people who came out especially all the people with signs. I was afraid people weren’t going to make signs and so I was really happy with all the people who brought pride flags and signs and like whenever they would cheer at stuff that I was saying,” Stewart said.
Principal Matt Irvin talked about what the consequences were for the walkout.”
“We always try to communicate with our teachers and let them know to follow our handbook and mark kids absent if they are absent, and administration will follow up with students in the case of their missing class. Cutting class is a detention,” Irvin said.
“Walkouts are always worth the detention if it’s for the right reason,” Gunn said.
Stewart agreed with that sentiment.
“It’s only a one-hour detention, which I think is worth it for standing up for things you care about,” Stewart said.
This will be Lydia Urice’s second year on ECHO staff. Last year, she was podcast editor, and this year she is junior editor.
This will be Izzy Poole’s first year on ECHO staff, but they made several contributions while taking journalism class their sophomore year.