GLOUCESTER (CBS) – Many Gloucester High School students are busy writing essays about the National Walkout Day they participated in.

“I am walking out because I am sick of feeling like I have more patience tolerance and ambition than those deciding our laws,” Gloucester High School sophomore Danielle Denman writes.

Gloucester High School students participated in National Walkout Day. (WBZ-TV)

But unlike the nationwide protest against gun violence, the essays are not a voluntary assignment. The high school made it a requirement for the students who decided to leave school. If they don’t write one the school will mark each student down as an unexcused absence, leading to detention.

“We knew we had to be proactive and turn this into a learning experience,” Principal James Cook said. Principal Cook wants his students to use their civil acts of disobedience for something positive.

Alexander Oaks who spoke at Gloucester’s walk out writes how the experience enlightened his view about his classmates.

“It was to show the whole country that young people are engaged. We are paying attention and actively investing in the laws that govern us,” Oaks said.

Denman, who also took part in the March for Our Live Boston Rally, reflects on the power young people hold.

Alexander Oaks, who spoke at the Gloucester walkout, and Danielle Denman who participated in the March for Our Lives Boston Rally.(WBZ-TV)

“From all sides of the political spectrum we all came together and that’s something adults can’t pull off anymore and it’s a shame,” Denman said.

About 250 students from Gloucester High School participated in the Walkout. Principal Cook says the reflections are so powerful he plans to share them with other students, faculty and parents to let them know the lessons these kids learned outside the classroom is just as effective as inside.

“It really made kids reflect on their future and what they wanted for their schools,” Denman said.

Paul Burton


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