Students at Brunswick High School organized one of the largest walkout events in Frederick County. Around 300 students registered to participate in the peaceful protest against gun violence.

9:45 a.m. A Brunswick Police Department cruiser pulls up to the main entrance of Brunswick High School. Cpl. Jacki Druktenis joins Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputy Allen Herrmann — the school resource officer — to monitor the walkout.

9:55 a.m. Student organizers set up for the event outside the school auditorium. Students will spend 17 minutes writing letters to lawmakers and other leaders, followed by a period of silence to memorialize the 17 victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The leaders include Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-6th), and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

9:57 a.m. 16-year-old Loretta Donoghue, a junior, is one of four students who organized the walkout. She and her fellow coordinators are wearing orange, a color promoted by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

“We just want something to change,” Donoghue said. “I don’t want to come to school and fear for my life. I don’t want to hear the fire alarm and think there’s a shooter.”

In the days that followed the Parkland shooting, she said, Principal Mike Dillman went from classroom to classroom to explain the school’s active-shooter procedure.

10 a.m. Students begin to file into the auditorium. Most take slips of paper explaining the letter-writing campaign and urging students to write, email, or tweet at legislators to tell them that school violence matters to them.

10:05 a.m. Donoghue turns to senior Samantha Campbell, 17, another organizer.

“This is so many people!” she exclaims.

“I’m so proud of you,” Campbell responds.

“I’m so proud of you!” Donoghue says.

10:08 a.m. Organizers take the stage to explain the purpose of the event. The 17-minute letter-writing period begins.

10:13 a.m. Gabrielle Bowie, Kallie Harrison and Aubrey Smothers, all 16-year-old sophomores, are writing their letters together.

“I just want to explain how lives are affected, and not just the victims,” Bowie said. “Students at other schools are scared or uneasy about going into the building and not coming home.”

Smothers doubted that the number of shootings would decrease without concrete legislative changes.

“It’s like the new normal,” he said. “Things might calm down for a few months, but then there’s another school shooting.”

10:19 a.m. Maggie Sharp, a 15-year-old sophomore, records the crowd of students with her cellphone. She plans to add the video to her Snapchat story.

“One of the major things that makes social media so positive is that it can spread the message about things that are happening nationally,” she said. “I think it’s really important that we’re doing this because we’re becoming a part of history.”

10:24 a.m. As students finish their letters, they leave the auditorium and sign a large orange banner that reads, “We pledge to spread kindness, not violence.”

10:27 a.m. The protesters squeeze into an outdoor courtyard for a group picture. They shiver against the wind, but smile broadly as Dillman shepherds them into frame. Organizers hold the banner in front of the group.

10:30 a.m. Senior Wesley Shores, 17, rings a brass bell 17 times in honor of each victim of the Parkland shooting. The students observe a moment of silence.

10:31 a.m. The walkout ends. Students break from the group, then stream inside the warm school building.

Follow Kate Masters on Twitter: @kamamasters.

Kate Masters is the features and food reporter for The Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at kmasters@newspost.com.

(7) comments

elymus43

Next, they should go and protest gun crimes in Chicago, Baltimore, New York, and Washington, DC to name a few democrat run cities.

phydeaux994

The youth of America matter!

rbtdt5

Hopefully they are smarter than those that don't know who the president is.

awteam2000

I guess, in the future, there won’t be any holiday commemorating his presidency. Those from their generation that know who the current president is don’t think much of him and the others who don’t know think Trump is the celebrity on “The Apprentice” gone to DC. Right?

Mickey7

We all know who the president is Vladimir Putin

Nicki

Proud of Brunswick High School students!

elmweeks

[beam][thumbup]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!