At 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14, a large number of Regians voluntarily participated in a student-driven, 17-minute walkout. The gesture was intended to remember the innocent lives lost during the February 14 school shooting in Broward County, Florida and promote national awareness of school safety.
After student leaders offered a prayer and a moment of silence on 84th Street, Regians returned to their classes, which remained in session during the time of the walkout. While many students congregated on 84th street, the chapel was also filled with Regians who chose to spend the 17 minutes in silent prayer.
“This frightening event made headlines, as the Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Newtown shootings have in the past. But many times, these victims are too quickly forgotten and not properly commemorated," said Andrew Vittoria '19, speaking on behalf of the student body. “Because of this, we believe that it is important to, as a school community, honor the 17 victims from Parkland in this walkout."
On February 25, Rev. Daniel K. Lahart, SJ, president of Regis, joined roughly 150 heads of other New York City private schools and signed a full-page, open letter to our nation's legislative leaders published in The New York Times demanding more to be done to ensure the safety and welfare of students nationwide.
“I was proud to stand with so many other heads of school in this simple statement of support for our students’ safety," said Lahart. “These private and independent schools represent students from every background. We share a common interest in the protection of our students and the hope for a safer world for them and for those who follow them."
In a countless ways, Regis students are consistently encouraged to fight for what they think is right. The school's mission statement challenges them to become imaginative leaders committed to promoting justice and exerting leadership in the Church, in the civic community, and in their chosen profession.
“I know our students — and others in their generation — will work together to make this a better world," added Lahart. “I am proud to work with them, support them, and I am excited to see how they will change the future."