Need Hope after Parkland? Look to EL Education Students
EL Education is dedicated to preparing students to be great scholars and active citizens with the capacity to build a better world. After the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, thousands of EL Education students put their knowledge to work in service of healing and creating safer, stronger learning communities.
Like the attacks before it, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School invaded a space that we at EL Education hold sacred, a safe community of learning where every child should have the right to pursue his or her education without fear of violence.
It is an event both shocking and all too familiar. Yet our students have not faltered in their courage. Over the last few weeks,thousands of young people in EL Education schools and 1 million students across the country made the powerful decision to take a stand for their vision of a better world and to hold policymakers accountable for change.
These are the moments for which we’ve worked side by side with our teachers and leaders for 25 years, preparing students to be both great scholars and ethical, engaged citizens. They have shown us that they are ready to put their learning to work to build safer communities, to stand by their peers impacted by gun violence, and to be stewards of a healthy democracy.
Please join us in honoring the courage of our students and the educators who support them, including those highlighted below, as we follow their lead to a better world.
“Personally, I want to live in a safe country. I want my children to go to school safe. I believe that the students are the future of America as a nation, as a country, as a whole. Without our future children, I don’t think this nation will be able to thrive and survive.” - Marques, senior at Harborside Academy in Kenosha, WI. Hear more from Harborside students in the news.
Seniors at Gilbert High School in Gilbert, SC held 'power lessons in kindness' on National Walkout Day. See them in the news.
Students at King Middle School in Portland, ME organized a walkout and a speaking and writing exercise encouraging students to share their different points of view. See them in the Press Herald, here. Students from the school were also quoted in this piece in Time. “You can’t tell yourself you can’t change anything when everyone knows you can,” said King Middle School seventh-grader Hannah Smart. “Every day you make excuses. Your apology won’t cut it. Actions speak louder than words,” she added.
Students at The Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, MA created signs and banners and hosted a rally expressing their solidarity with students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS.
Students and faculty at McDonough Middle School in Hartford, CT formed a circle of support for their crew. One in four McDonough students reports having lost a family member or close family friend to gun violence.
In response to a recent shooting in front of their school and in solidarity with students from Parkland, Polaris Charter Academy students in Chicago, IL took back their streets for peace with a powerful human peace sign. See more photos from the day.
Amana Academy students from Atlanta, GA stood in solidarity with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"I hope that our act of civic engagement will help push our legislators to prioritize gun control. I also hope that it empowers students to speak up for whatever they believe in." - Juliet, senior at Four Rivers Charter Public School
Students at World of Inquiry School in Rochester, NY braved the snow to advocate for safer schools. See their story in the news.
Students from Schoolcraft Learning Community in Bemidji, MN participated in the walkout in solidarity with the Parkland students.
Students at Franklin School of Innovation in Asheville, NC created songs to combat bullying and violence at school.
Sawyer, Emma, and Ian, leaders of student-driven school safety efforts at Open World Learning Community in St. Paul, MN helped plan a walkout to inspire solidarity in their community with students impacted by violence in Florida and beyond.
Students from River Bluff High School in Lexington, SC shared messages of solidarity on snapchat and read the names of the 17 Parkland shooting victims. See their highlight in the news.
At Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning in Grass Valley, CA, students made signs and participated in the national school walkout to protest gun violence. They also brought letters to their mayor. See more photos of the Grass Valley, CA walkout here.
Third graders at Detroit Achievement Academy in Detroit, MI expressed their vision for safer schools.
Lisa Graustein, a teacher and equity coordinator at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, MA participated in a WBUR Boston public radio panel discussing arming teachers. Sydney Chaffee, another Codman teacher and the National Teacher of the Year, shared this powerful letter about how to advocate for safer schools in the Washington Post. Codman students joined the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C on March 24th.
At Casco Bay High School in Portland, ME, students rallied against gun violence. One student, Raizel said, “We have been asking for safety as long as I can remember, and this time we will be heard.” See more photos of their rally here.
Students at Citizens Leadership Academy in Cleveland, OH created signs and participated in the walkout on March 14. Learn more about the student protests in Cleveland, here.
At Lighthouse Community Charter Public School in Oakland, CA, leaders partnered with Vision Quilt to support their goal of creating a quilt that educates communities about gun violence and inspires change. Learn more about this partnership by watching this incredible video.
Students from Grass Valley Charter School in Grass Valley, CA walked out of school and brought handwritten notes about gun violence to Grass Valley Mayor Howard Levine. See more photos of their walkout here.
On March 14, students at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo, NY called on lawmakers to keep schools safe.
On March 24th students and teachers from ChannelView School for Research in Queens, NY headed to Washington, DC to advocate for an end to gun violence in America.
Elementary school students at the World of Inquiry School in Rochester, NY participated in the #ArmMySchoolWith movement. This student asked policymakers to "arm" her school with more security and after school activities.