As much of the nation’s students participated in the National School Walkout to demonstrate against gun violence at schools in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, several teachers found creative ways for their classrooms to honor the victims in an enlightening way instead.
Teachers all over the country found different iterations of the “Walk Up Not Out” movement, but they all surrounded around messages and actions of encouragement.
Danielle Carlson, and assistant principal at Arbor Preparatory High School in Deerborn, Michigan, wrote on Facebook that students were each given 17 sticky notes and were instructed to leave notes that “would brighten their day” of 14 students and three adults, symbolizing those lost in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“As I walked the halls I was overcome with pride for these kids,” Carlson wrote. “Not a single locker was untouched and they took special care to ensure that everyone from admin to the tech guy and custodian received some love.”
Today our students participated in a Walk Up instead of a Walk Out. They were each given 17 sticky notes to symbolize…
Jodie Katsetos, a sixth-grade teacher in Oak Hall, Virginia, wrote simple instructions for the “Walk Up Not Out” on a posterboard and hung it up in her classroom at Arcadia Middle School.
Katsetos encouraged her students to “walk UP” to students who may often be overlooked, such as the “kid who sits alone” and the student who never has someone to volunteer to be his or her partner.
Katsetos also told students to walk up to their teachers to say “thank you” and to “just be nice!”
The middle school teacher told ABC News that she “adapted the message to fit areas of concern” at her school.
“I am adamant about it staying positive,” she said. “I’m not pushing either. I made those suggestions as alternatives to walking out and just an everyday reminder to include others and be considerate, which is something that I talk about with students each day.”
Katsetos’ strife to stay positive must have resonated, because her Facebook post from Tuesday garnered nearly a million shares and more than 33,000 reactions less than 48 hours later.
Stephanie Holdridge, an elementary school teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, said her students wrote 17 cards to people around the school who “aren’t usually noticed or appreciated.”
The “kids seemed to really understand the concept! Holdridge wrote.
Today we chose to #walkupnotout the kids seemed to really understand the concept! We made 17 thank you cards to people…
Ryan Petty, whose son died in the Parkland shooting, also expressed support for the “Walk Up Not Out” movement, posting to Twitter the night Tuesday, urging students participate if they “really want to stop the next school shooter.”
The #March4OurLives supporters will accomplish only two things. 1. They'll exercise their 1st Amendment right. 2. They'll get a little exercise. If you really want to stop the next school shooter #walkupnotout pic.twitter.com/9kY3k53xcr
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) March 13, 2018