Last Wednesday, students across the country walked out of school to protest school shootings and push for stricter gun control legislation. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and other citifies all had large protests, as well as localities that had suffered school shootings including Littleton, Colorado, Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida. In many schools, students were allowed to participate in the demonstrations without consequences, but some schools decided to restrict student activity and punish anyone who stepped out of line. Pennridge High School in Pennsylvania was one of those schools.
While the rest of the country has been moved by the grassroots activism of students in the wake of the latest deadly school shooting, the administrators of Pennridge High School in Pennsylvania weren’t really feeling it:
#Pennridge225 is fighting against gun violence. Saturday morning detentions are nothing if it means our voices are heard. pic.twitter.com/aiAOGCATkm
— Anna Sophie Tinneny (@annatinn) March 18, 2018
The school suspended over 200 students who participated in Wednesday’s walkout to support gun control. The group has started calling themselves the Pennridge 225 and they haven’t stopped protesting.
The first group of students from the Pennridge 225 served their Saturday detention and, rather than sit in their assigned seats, they staged a sit-in.
46 of the #Pennridge225 served the first Saturday morning detention today. Pennridge students wore Parkland victims’ names and sat, arms linked, for the whole dentention. A modern sit in. pic.twitter.com/sCuLxo9jE2
— Pennridge225 (@NeverAgainPenn) March 17, 2018
The students laid flowers on the ground and sat in on the floor in a circle wearing the names of the Parkland Victims pinned to their chests.
The new Flower Power. #Pennridge225 protests #NationalWalkout detention by leaving assigned seats to hold sit in in the middle of the room. pic.twitter.com/P60vYjob7S
— Anna Sophie Tinneny (@annatinn) March 17, 2018
Pennridge High School Senior Anna Sophie Tinneny organized the event. “It was disappointing that our school teaches us to be like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., people who stood up for what they believed in. And they weren’t going to let us do the same,” she said.
The students say they asked the school board to let them demonstrate peacefully, but the school board declined.
Not even a week ago @annatinn and I were at a school board meeting urging them to let us walk out peacefully. Now we and 223 other #Pennridge students are using our voices to help end gun violence. Thank you for giving us a megaphone, @PennridgeHS. #Pennridge225 #NeverAgain
— Sean Jenkins (@Sean_Jenk) March 19, 2018
Video of the students protesting has earned over 27,000 retweets, as well as the attention of some celebrities. Patton Oswalt and Alyssa Milano commended the kids for sitting in and continuing the fight:
Holy shit. A Breakfast Club made up of only badasses. #Pennridge225 https://t.co/5r4Vy9eeYo
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 18, 2018
These kids were given detention for participating in the walk out. This is what they did with their time in detention.
Change is coming. I can feel it. And as a mom…I appreciate it so very much. https://t.co/Ma9ZsW0BDS
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 18, 2018
So did Marjory Stoneman Douglas student activist Lauren Hogg:
Yes!! You guys are on the right side of history. It’s like a modern Breakfast Club except you guys are making a change in the world. #neveragain #March4OurLives https://t.co/Nx9spiMmG7
— Lauren Hogg (@lauren_hoggs) March 18, 2018