On Wednesday, March 14 at 10 a.m., thousands of students from across the country will walk out of their classrooms to remember those killed during the Parkland, Fla. shooting massacre last month and call for gun control.
However, one school in Chesapeake, Virginia is cutting through the high-strung political climate with a different approach.
Greenbrier Christian Academy will also participate in the national walk out, but instead of calling for political remedies to a tragic situation, they’re going to pray for the victims and their families – and ask God to heal the United States.
“We just wanted to give our students a way to honor the victims and be a part of the national discussion,” Danielle Gullickson, the school’s community director told CBN News.
The school will set up a memorial of 17 empty chairs each with the name of one of the victims, along with a rose, in front of the auditorium. Approximately 200 students ranging from grades 7-12 will be divided into 17 groups. Each group will be assigned one of the victims.
The students will walk out of their classroom at 10 a.m and file past the 17 empty chairs to a designated part of campus. There, each student group will pray for the families of the victims, the country, and the nation’s schools for 17 minutes.
“They don’t want to be used for a political agenda but to do something to honor the people who were involved and suffered from this tragedy.” Gullickson also said.
“Our students are definitely excited about the ability to participate in a national discussion but do it in a positive way,” she said. “It will be a time to shine God’s love on the victims and the people who are hurting right now,” she told CBN News.
The school’s younger students will not participate in the walkout, but their teachers will emphasize to them the importance of being kind and emulating “Jesus’ model of loving our enemies and people we have conflict with,” Gullikson explained.
While the walkout is not open to the public, the school’s superintendent encourages Christians to pray for the faculty and students who will be participating.
“Please pray for our students, our faculty, and our administrative team as we attempt to model to our student body how to serve others and respond correctly to our civil authorities,” Superintendent H. Ron White wrote in a letter to parents.