NWA Students Participate In National Walkout Day

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- Students from schools around the area participated in National Walkout Day Wednesday (March 14).

Fayetteville High School had more than 200 students participate in the event to honor the 17 people killed in the Parkland shooting.

They began on campus with students talking about why this day is so important. Then students marched more than a mile to the courthouse.

“I feel so thankful to have a school district that supports us in this endeavor and also a community that supports us just as we've seen,” Kyle Mayer said.

Gwyn Wood was one of those who came out to support students who chose to walkout.

“I'm here as a grandparent and parent because this is not the way we should have to live in America today and I'm so proud of our students and their enthusiasm,” Wood said.

Bentonville students who chose to walk out of class were counted as absent and will receive detention.

Senior Daniell Araliz said she is fine with the punishment because it was important for her to honor the people who have died in school shootings.

“I want everyone to know that this is not okay, and we are not going to let this happen again. Parkland was not the last one but hopefully with our generation that changes and hopefully the adults listen to us now,” she said.

Troy Gittings is a teacher at Bentonville High School who said he fully supports the students need to be heard.

He said the day after the Florida shooting he had students say they were scared.

He said he can relate from a shooting experience at the University of Arkansas.

“It's kind of near and dear to me, I was in Kimpel in 2000 when that professor was murdered the floor below me and I've been to combat. A lot of these people who are making these policies have no idea what it's like when bullets are flying,” he said.

Fayetteville students were not counted absent or punished for walking out as long as their parents checked them out of school.