Student Activists Come Together


Nic Zimmerman

Iola High School sophomores Allie Fager and Rachel Bycroft take part in the March 14 student walkout. Students walked from 10:00 – 10:17 in remembrance of the 17 lives lost in recent Parkland, Florida shooting.

Nic Zimmerman, Staff Writer

The local walkout saw countless concerned students letting their voice be heard. “There were a lot more people than I was expecting,” said senior Macayla Bycroft.  

Students started off the event by gathering at the front steps and listening to the words spoken by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) President Olivia Taylor and Vice President Sloan Geddry. The two clarified what was taking place and requested everyone remain silent during the demonstration. What followed was seventeen minutes of solemn silence as students walked around the town square in remembrance of not only the Florida victims, but all of the casualties that have resulted from a school shootings across the U.S.

“I just think it was the right thing to do. It wasn’t a protest. It was a peaceful demonstration,” said senior Katie Bauer. Banners were seen that demoted school violence and promoted increased school safety. They offered an opportunity for students to voice their individual opinions even if they did not represent the whole school body.   

“People saw us. I think that was the point of it, for people to see us and wonder ‘oh, what’s going on here?’” said Taylor. A few community members that spectated from the square even stepped in and joined the event.  

 Iola High School principal Scott Crenshaw shared his thoughts after the walkout.  “I feel like the students were allowed to accomplish a goal. This was never my goal, and this was never about the administration; it was about SADD wanting to have a voice, and I think they accomplished it, and I could not be more proud of the SADD organization or of our student body that was able to walk around the square in almost absolute silence for the entire time. I thought they represented the school well, and I think community members saw that students have concerns and have a voice. That was SADD’s goal and I think they accomplished it.”