On Wednesday, March 14, hundreds of Pennington School students joined the nation by participating in the national school walkout to honor the 17 students tragically murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
The walkout was organized by a large group of students who are energized by the need to stand up and support legislative changes that will contribute to school safety. Sophomores Jake Bongiovi, 15, and Rickey Eng, 16, led the effort to spark change. Bongiovi reached out to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and his wife, Tammy, who sent an enthusiastic video message to the students, supporting their call to make changes. The video was shown to the participating student body, after which Eng introduced several students who spoke in turn about why each has chosen to get involved.
The student speakers were Eng, Bongiovi, juniors Emma Garry and Harry Wasnak, senior Adam Soliman, and eighth-grader Olivia Meyerson. All stressed the fact that the protest is about protecting people, and not about politics. Following the speeches, the community walked outside together in silence and listened as a bell in the School’s cupola rang seventeen times to honor the Parkland students. Hundreds of Pennington students wore orange t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, #Enough. School administrators and teachers also took part in the protest.
The Pennington School is an independent coeducational school for students in grades 6 through 12, in both day and boarding programs. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on individual excellence, fostering the development of the whole student through academics, athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts.