The National School Walkout drew thousands of students and teachers from around the globe on Wednesday. Honoring the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, participants walked out for 17 minutes. Each minute symbolized the victims of the massacre. But students in Birmingham, Alabama added an extra minute for their own fallen classmate, 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington.
Dozens of students at Huffman High School walked out for 18 minutes to honor Arrington, who was killed at the school a week prior, reports WIAT.
As Oxygen previously reported, Arrington was a senior with dreams of becoming a nurse. The incident in which she was killed by gunshot was described as an accidental shooting. Sources told AL.com that the shooting happened while a male was “showing off” a gun to other students. It's unclear who fired the weapon or how it was accidentally discharged. A 17-year-old male student, who is a football player, was also injured. No arrests were made.
Some criticized that Arrington's story was not given more attention amid the National School Walkout. In an op-ed in The Inquirer, Will Bunch said that the crime wasn't covered because the students at Huffman High are not from a mostly white, privileged background like Parkland.
"This isn’t Parkland, Florida, where the mass shooting of 17 kids in the upscale Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School upended the world of students who’d been raised to expect the best things in life — and thus triggered a social revolution that is only starting to grow. No, Courtlin Arrington was killed by a handgun inside Huffman High School in Birmingham, Ala., in the kind of struggling urban district where kids have grown all too accustomed to hardship, even to violence."
He writes, "All one can say with 100 percent certainty is that America should be ashamed for not paying more attention to the loss of such a beautiful life."
For Arrington's fellow students, her death hits close to home.
"I walked out of class to participate in national walkout to show respect to the Florida victims and its due to them and it was a tragedy," shared 12th grade student DeCarlos Bates. "And on the other hand we experienced a tragedy last Wednesday losing a member of our own. Seeing something like that happen on TV is one thing, and your heart goes out but it really opens up your eyes when it happens close to home."
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