Protesting? Or Just Skipping School?


Photo Courtesy of CHS KTR Staff Member

Charlottesville High School students in the Gun Violence walkout in 2018

Malcolm Brickhouse, Staff Member and Publicity Manager

At the end of last school year, two walkouts took place, one led by the Black Student Union (BSU) and one demanding action on climate change. Obviously many students were passionate about these walkouts and really believed in what they were doing, but did some students walk out just to skip school?

A survey conducted showed us that this isn’t the case. 100% of the answers showed that students walked out to support the cause. However, were they being truthful? Was this survey really an accurate telling of why people really participated?


The answer is probably not. “I wasn’t into the cause,” said one student, seperate from the survey, who participated in a walkout last year. The reason he walked out was because he “just wanted to skip school.” He also said that while there were some people really using this as a chance to try to make a change, he felt that a good amount of people shared his reasons for walking out. Another student said that when they (the students) heard about a student-led walkout, they immediately saw a chance to leave school all day, and that “most kids didn’t even know why people were leaving, but we left anyway.” 


Dr. Irizarry’s take on the walkouts is mostly positive. He says that while there will always be students who take advantage of situations like these, the walkouts are “very powerful.” He says that student voices are a very important part of CHS, and that the walkouts are a good way of getting people to hear these voices. 


“I didn’t participate in the BSU led walkout, but there was a huge turnout and it seemed successful,” said Noelle Morris, the president of the BSU, and a Youth Council member. Her opinion is that using walkouts as a chance to skip school is “a bit annoying” and “does kind of ruin the point if people aren’t there to support the cause.”


At a school like C.H.S. in a town like Charlottesville, student voices are extremely important. While there are students who use walkouts as an easy escape from a tough day of school, there are also many students at CHS who are passionate about many political and social issues, and they are very brave to express their views. At C.H.S., it seems that these voices are too powerful to let the shenanigans of some other students delegitimize their views and drown out their voices.