Neki's Notebook: For a cause or for attention?

High school students walk out for Trayvon Martin

Published On: Mar 22 2012 08:51:03 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 22 2012 08:54:25 PM EDT
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -

The thought of hundreds of high school students walking out in protest in the middle of the day normally means chaos. Several thoughts ran through my mind as I rushed to the scene at Carol City High on Wednesday.

Are they really doing it because of Trayvon Martin? Or are they using this as an excuse to cut class and clown around for the news cameras.

While you will always find a few who chose to call attention to themselves for fun, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Not only by the peaceful manner most students conducted themselves, but also by the calm of the police officers who responded to the scene.

"We will be peaceful because we don't want to distract from our message. We want justice for his family," said Lindsay, a 10th grader.

Here is what every student on scene understood today -- there is power in peaceful protest.

Miami Gardens officers responded and I can tell that once the students got out of the busy streets, they respected what they were standing up for.

Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson got on the phone and made sure the city did whatever it could to inform parents what was going on, as well as keep in contact with officers.

No one really wants to deal with hundreds of students roaming the streets, but drivers honked as they observed organized groups holding signs and showing support for the young man who was once their class mate.

School officials rerouted buses to make sure everyone got home safely, and no one was arrested or injured.

From Sky 10 it was an incredible sight to see the students leave en masse to walk the streets. On the ground they were informed and outspoken.

In the end, I got to write a story about passion and protest.

Congrats young agents for social change, you accomplished your mission!

Though no one wants you to do it again any time soon, your message was heard loud and clear with no distractions! Now stay informed, and hit the books so you can use that passion to implement the change that this case shows is so desperately needed.