Students at Somerset Academy stood in memory of the young people who lost their lives in the Florida school shooting. “I was very happy this was something that we did,” said Amelia Porter, a student council member.
Students around the nation walked out of class to protest gun violence. But, some said the right to demonstrate at Somerset came with a price. The school told parents ahead of time on their website that students had to pay $10 for a #Enough t-shirt or make a sign approved by the school to take part in the walkout.
Porter said some thought the choice limited kids didn't feel they should have to pay to exercise free speech. "A few of them thought it was a little unfair they should have to pay ten dollars," Porter said.
"At first I was little surprised and confused, porter said. She said she later understood Somerset’s rationale. “They wanted to make sure that kids were committed to the experience instead of just leaving class to ditch class," Porter said.
And porter said the school gave students the cost-free option of making posters. “Not too many of them were super angry about it. It wasn’t too big of an issue,” Porter said.
Carina Barnum appreciates that students got a choice, but she didn’t like the idea of the school charging for the shirts. "The school wanted to have approved messages and they didn't want to write it, that's' wonderful, but them getting money, I'm not so thrilled about that," Barnum said.
Sarah Cross, a counselor who helped organize the event said the school will not profit from sales of the t-shirts. Any profit will go to the Stoneman Douglas High School victims' fund.