Upper School Students Hold Silent Vigil to Honor Lives Lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

From 10 a.m. to 10:17 a.m. on Wednesday, the time of the national school walkout, many Upper School students and several faculty members gathered at the Pit for a silent memorial to honor the lives lost in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Students began assembling immediately after Upper School chapel, which featured the introduction of exchange students from Copernicus Gymnasium in Löningen, Germany, many of whom are in the United States for the first time. Several of those students attended the gathering.

The event was organized by students. Headmaster Dennis Manning offered some context and guidelines in his remarks to the Upper School at Monday’s chapel; he said students were allowed to participate in the walkout but should not feel pressured to do so.

The Pit, an open area of the school that is usually the site of lively conversations and games of pit ball, was absolutely still; students sat or stood around all sides. A few students held a sign, “Our school stands with MSDHS.” The occasional flapping of the sign moving in the breeze and the twitter of birds were the only sounds during the solemn, 17-minute vigil.

At 10:17 a.m., students quietly dispersed and headed to class.