Potomac Students Respond to Recent School Shootings with a Lunchtime Walk-out


Students listen to a speaker at the walk-out to protest school shootings

Ali O'Brien, Co-Editor-in-Chief

At noon yesterday, about 75 Potomac students, faculty and administrators walked out of the Upper School into the Quad to protest the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas. Junior Ella Adamec, who organized the walk-out, told the participants that her goal was to “start the conversation around recent events.” In the announcement of the event, students were asked to dress in orange, which has become a symbol of the fight to end gun violence.

After Ella’s opening remarks, Mr. Westermann led a moment of silence to honor not only those harmed by recent shootings, but, as he said, “all victims of gun violence.”

Inspired by a national walk-out organized by Students Demand Action last Thursday, Ella hoped to organize Potomac’s event without administrative input. She said, “I originally wanted to organize it without contacting Mr. Westermann, because I felt like it would be more authentic.”

Holding the walk-out at noon, during lunch, raised questions for Ella about the extent to which this initiative was student-driven. Although Ella said that she and Mr. Westermann both believed that “in the grand scheme of things,” recent shootings were “more important” than final exam review periods, the difficulty of scheduling conflicts with teachers led to the decision tohold the walk-out during lunch, rather than during a class period.

“I think it would be better to do it during a class period,” Ella said, but she reinforced her dedication to raising awareness about gun violence through the walk-out, saying “it’s better to have it than to not have it.”