500 Grace Students Form Human Chain Around School

On March 14, nearly 500 Grace students in Grades 4-12 formed a human chain around Grace Church School and our neighbors and observed 17 minutes of silence for the victims of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting as part of the National School Walkout Day. Students, their arms linked, stretched from 10th street up 4th Ave., across 12th street, down Broadway and back across 10th street as a symbolic shield for their school, classmates, and siblings. You can watch a Facebook Live video of the demonstration below.
Earlier that morning, students and faculty from the high school laid flowers across the street from the Cooper Square campus in memory of Grace faculty member Elizabeth Lee who was killed in November in an incident of gun violence that shook the Grace community.
Following the 17 minutes of silence, many students returned to class, but a group of 50 high school students continued on to Washington Square Park where they met with other high school students from L.R.E.I. and Harvest Collegiate. Several students delivered impassioned speeches to the gathering of several hundred, and they recorded video messages to be delivered to their local, state, and federal representatives. Seniors Sam B. and Jonah H. both delivered messages to the crowd stressing the urgency that change is needed and the importance of laws that will have a real impact on limiting mass shootings in America.
The day’s events were organized by High School seniors with support and the endorsement of the faculty and administration. Student organizers released an official statement ahead of the march: We will march in solidarity with students all across the country who have decided that enough is enough. We gather together tomorrow to stand up for ourselves and to speak out against gun violence. We have the right to be safe in our own schools and on our own streets and so that is why tomorrow, we will march.
You can see videos and photos by Grace student-journalists on the Grace Gazette Instagram account. We will post more photos and videos of the events over the next few days. Several media outlets also attended the demonstration. You can see Grace students on the Huffington Post on the photo blogin this article and on Yahoo! news. Bedford + Bowery also covered the event. The Anglican Journal posted this piece.