This 11-Year-Old Co-Organized A Walkout At Her Elementary School Adding 1 Minute To Honor Courtlin Arrington And Other Black Women Victims
"I think...that specifically African-American women, when they are shot and killed, or when they are killed in general, their names aren’t remembered. So I thought it would be important to add an extra one minute."
Students at schools across the country participated in a national 17-minute walkout to honor the 17 victims from the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday morning. Naomi, an 11-year-old student in Alexandria, Virginia, co-organized a walkout adding one minute to also honor Courtlin Arrington, a black teen girl killed last week at her high school in Birmingham, Alabama.
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According to reporting by Guardian senior reporter Lois Beckett on Twitter, Naomi and her classmate Carter organized a walkout for Wednesday morning at their elementary school, George Mason Elementary. They thought it would be important to add one minute to the nationally planned 17-minute walkout to include Arrington.
Naomi is 11. She is organizing a school walkout next week at her elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia. She said her principal is not sure that the walkout is “safe” for the students, and that this attitude is “completely unacceptable.” pic.twitter.com/Cdi8Yhzpkf— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 8, 2018
The walkout at Naomi and Carter’s school will last 18 minutes, with an extra minute added for Courtlin Arrington, who was shot at a school in Alabama. When African-American women are killed “their names aren’t remember, so I thought it was important to add,” Naomi said. pic.twitter.com/xbrejOkYIx— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
"I think, well specifically me, I don’t know what Carter thinks, that specifically African-American women, when they are shot and killed, or when they are killed in general, their names aren’t remembered," she said. So I thought it would be important to add an extra one minute."
Carter, 11, who helped organize the walkout with Naomi, told Beckett that, "everyone thought it would be a good idea,' to add one minute to the walkout. He also added, "[Arrington] was studying to be a nurse. She could have saved people's lives."
“Everyone thought it would be a good idea,” to add a minute to their elementary school walkout to honor Courtlin Arrington, said Carter, 11. “She was studying to be a nurse. She could have saved peoples lives.” pic.twitter.com/mVab1e1qdG— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring said Arrington was one of the district's "brightest and best scholars," AL.com reported.
"We have lost one of our brightest and best scholars, Courtlin Arrington, to senseless gun violence," she said. "She was energetic, friendly and well-liked by peers and teachers alike. We have more than 23,000 students at Birmingham City Schools, and when one of them is harmed, all are impacted."
The elementary students at George Mason remained silent while they held posters outside during their walkout. At one point, they were lying down on the grass as parents nearby watched, Beckett tweeted.
It is freezing cold and these 60+ elementary school protesters are lying completely still, and no one is making a sound, just the posters flapping a little over their bodies. Alexandria, Virginia. pic.twitter.com/6OI0GHbdQN— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
Students have stood up again. Complete silence. Their faces are so serious. One of them was shaking with the cold and still holding up her sign. pic.twitter.com/AXWvEcIet3— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
Our future is looking bright!