On March 14th, students at Essex Street Academy rallied together in support against gun violence. Students marched in solidarity with the victims of the Parkland shooting in Florida. The principal of Essex Street Academy, Wallace Simpson wrote, “Our students decided on their own and organized this event with support of our faculty. Essex Street Academy staff encouraged students to speak out and have their voices heard. At ESA, we believe it is our responsibility as educators to prepare every graduate to be an active and engaged citizen, and we see tomorrow’s walkout as an invaluable opportunity to deepen their understanding of what engaged citizenship really means. Everything from researching and designing this week’s advisory lessons to filming student testimonials to composing the walkout chants and plotting the walkout route — every aspect of tomorrow’s plan has been 100% led by students.” Students walked from Grand Street all the way to Chrystie street chanting things like, “No more silence, end gun violence” and “Hey hey NRA how many kids have you killed today.” Essex Street
Academy students walked for 17 minutes for the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. The students of ESA walked not only in solidarity with the victims but also as a call for gun control reform. Students wanted their voices heard and for the government to know that gun control laws need to change, and that shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida should not be happening and schools have to be a safe environment for kids to go to school. This national march brought together all of the schools on the Seward Park Campus.