More than 500 Chelsea High students walked out of class on Thursday, March 15, as part of the national school walk-out movement to promote more efforts towards school safety.
Armed with only a megaphone, students marched into shin-deep snow and cold temperatures to participate in the movement locally, and to draw attention to school safety.
They were supported by the Chelsea Public Schools and the Chelsea Police, who stood in solidarity with the students, who ranged in age from 13 to 18.
“P-O-W-E-R,” yelled Stephanie Rodrigues, one of the key coordinators along with Diego Estrada. “We have the power. We have a voice. We can use our power…We deserve to be heard. We deserve to be safe. We don’t deserve to stand around and wait for someone to come kill us. You could be next. Unfortunately, the 17 students in Florida were killed by a man who should not have had a gun. This is not normal. We should not stand around and wait for someone to take action for us. We can take action.”
Student Eric Lazo entertained the crowd with impromptu chants and songs on the megaphone, for which most everyone in the crowd followed.
“I came out because this can’t happen again,” said Imane Rharbi. “We can’t have students being killed and unsafe. We need gun control right now. That’s why I came out.”
Junior Angel Vargas said he and many other students are concerned that they could be next, that the fear of something at Chelsea High is real.
“It’s important for all of us to come out here,” he said. “It was terrible what happened in Florida. That was the reason I came out. We are scared.”
Students cheered loudly, hats and scarves wrapped tightly around them, and then broke into a solemn moment as Rodrigues read the names of the 17 students killed in Florida on Feb. 14.
The national walk-out day was supposed to occur on March 14, and all over the state and country students staged walk-outs to call for more gun ownership restrictions and more funding for mental health services inside and outside of school. In Chelsea, the effort had to be postponed because of the blizzard on March 13 that cancelled school for two days.
Originally, the plan called for Chelsea students to have their walk-out in the school gym to avoid having to go in the snow. However, Rodrigues said she and Estrada were approached by students who said it should go on outside.
“We were approached by some students who felt we shouldn’t be focused on comfort by going in the gym,” said Rodrigues, who described herself as just another student and a track athlete. “We agreed. We shouldn’t be comfortable when making a stand. We wanted to show we were standing up no matter what the conditions were outside.”
Outside on Thursday, students carried signs that made many different statements.
Some depicted an anti-gun message, while others called for funding to help people who are mentally ill. Some signs blasted the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others called for remembrance of the Florida students.
Most striking, however, were the hand-made signs that read, “Am I Next?”
Rodrigues said it isn’t an overreaction in Chelsea.
She said students and adults are concerned about their safety in school, and it’s something that is a bit new.
“Honestly, I feel we are all scared, even the adults,” she said. “That’s what pulled us all together. We shouldn’t let our safety in school be in question. That brought us together…One day it could be us.”
Stephany Villatoro and Masireh Ceesay were two of about 500 Chelsea High students that participated in a walk-out for school safety on Thursday, March 15. Students said they came together because they were scared that one day they could be school shooting victims.
Nancy Baguada and Mauricio Rubi march through the snow to the walk-out.
Co-Organizer Stephanie Rodrigues fires up the student crowd at the Stadium with a megaphone.
Student Erik Lazo shouted out interesting chants and songs during the walk-out to get the crowd fired up.
Imane Rharbi said there can be no more school shootings. She said now is the time for stricter gun control.
Students rally on the Stadium field in the snow.
Junior Angel Vargas signs the petition from Chelsea High.
Student organizers standing with Chelsea Police Officers. Chelsea Police and Chelsea High security provided a safe perimeter for the students during the walk-out.
Students at the St. Rose School in Chelsea have organized a walkout on Weds., March 14, to make a statement about how the federal government is handling gun issues as related to school shootings.
Trinity Hoffman, 13, and an eighth grader at St. Rose, said she and several students felt it was important to be part of the national effort, which encourages students to walk out of school for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 students killed recently in a Florida high school.
“We just really want a lot of people to hear how we feel about this and how the government is failing to deal with the problem.”
Hoffman said students would leave class on March 14 and march on Broadway to Chelsea City Hall for a gathering. There, they will mark the 17 minutes, which is being done at many schools nationwide. Revere High students are also staging a similar effort in that city.
When the solemn moment is over, students at St. Rose will return to class. The walkout will entail about 50 students from the St. Rose 7th and 8th grade classes.
Hoffman said they are encouraging students from other Chelsea schools to join them.
Teacher Cristina Rivera said the staff and school are supporting the student decision, and believe it to be a good learning experience.
“It came about because of conversations that we were having in class,” said Rivera. “Students were very concerned about Florida and about an incident that happened in Wakefield. Even though it wasn’t credible, students came back to St. Rose and initiated a discussion. We had heard about the March 14th date already and we let the students vote on it and they wanted to do it.”
She said the students have taken charge making signs and mapping out the route and planning the action. She said the school believes it’s a great learning experience for the kids, especially around getting involved civically.
“We feel it’s really an important part of learning democracy and something we want to support in our students,” she said. “In four years, our oldest students will be allowed to vote. However, having a voice and learning to participate starts before that. Exercising their right to assemble freely on an issue they are passionate about is the start of learning about this democracy.”
Students from the Chelsea High Summer Program spent the day exploring the parks of Chelsea with teachers Mrs. Moreno and Miss Shorey.
Kiara Santiago Diaz, playing Rafiki, opens The Lion King production at the Kelly School on Friday morning, April 29, to a large audience of students and parents. The play featured several musical numbers and a very elaborate set design. Scores of children from the Kelly School participated.
John T. Andreadis made learning mathematics fun because he seemed to enjoy so much teaching his students and being in front of the classroom opening up young minds to new mathematical concepts.
John T. Andreadis was admired and respected by his students, his teaching colleagues, and the parents who had the opportunity to know this outstanding educator and school administrator. Mr. Andreadis passed away on October 7.
His personality was sparkling. His style was energetic and vibrant. His teaching methods were solid, putting forth a commitment to each and every student who looked up to him as a role model.
John T. Andreadis was an integral part of a tremendous, caring faculty at Shurtleff that included such legendary junior high teachers as Bill Sartorelli, Arnold Goodman, James Stafford, Anthony DiGregorio, Saul Slavit, Dr. John Mahoney, Mary Raimo and others who brought out the best their students.
We remember the guidance and instruction John provided to student-teachers such as Richard Fineran, who went on to become such an excellent teacher himself and a Hall of Fame volleyball coach.
Mr. Andreadis served as a principal at the Shurleff and Mary C. Burke Schools where he no doubt carried on the fine tradition of former principals such as Joseph E. Henry who was at the helm of Shurtleff when he was a member of the faculty.
We want John T. Andreadis’s family and his children, especially, to know what a beloved teacher he was in this community. Mr. Andreadis gave everything he had to his students every single day. He was a treasure and we are so grateful for having been in his presence as students and as his colleagues in the profession.
Thank you, Mr. Andreadis, for being a wonderful teacher and a great man.
8th and 9th Grade Boys Lemonade Stand at the Chelsea Pool.
On a hot day in late July many Chelsea Residents were pleased to see over 80 Chelsea youth selling Lemonade throughout the city to benefit the Jimmy Fund. Students involved in the REACH program in 7th-12th grades planned the logistics and the business aspects for their “Lemonade Day” during the 6 week REACH summer program at Chelsea High School. Students learned how to market and advertise their business, created unique lemonade recipes, planned their locations and budgeted for their big day. Students worked as a team on the “Lemonade Day” and raised $500 for the Jimmy Fund which was donated through the Red Sox telethon. When the REACH staff member called in to give $500 the volunteer at the Jimmy Fund commented “I am near tears that these kids did this!”
An 8th grade student, Julianna Valle from the Brown School wrote about her experience with REACH Lemonade Day in the REACH Summer Newsletter. Julianna wrote:
Chelsea REACH summer is in the high school. Our group is selling lemonade at City Hall. Don’t worry, it’s going to be FRESH lemonade. The point of doing this is because we are giving some money to a non-profit called the Jimmy Fund for sick children who need support. We are also doing this for fun while learning how to run a small business. In class our group talked about our lemonade stand. We went to stores like Stop and Shop, the Restaurant Depo and even the Produce Center to check on the best prices for the ingredients. We talked about how to get people’s attention so they would come to our lemonade stand and not one of the other stands because the groups are competing to see who can raise the most money. We do this every year. We try to remember, it’s not for us, it’s for the community!
REACH wants to thank everyone who bought a lemonade on Lemonade Day and also thanks Community Suffolk for negotiating an excellent price with the student for the lemons!
We extend our condolences to the family of former Chelsea High teacher Sherrill Boveri, who passed away after a brief illness.
Ms. Boveri was an outstanding teacher who was dedicated to not only the academic advancement of her students but the extracurricular experience as well.
We remember her work as the yearbook adviser and how she would spend countless hours above and beyond what was expected of her to make sure that the yearbook was one that students could be proud of forever.
We saw several of Ms. Boveri’s former colleagues and students at the memorial observance. They paid a heartfelt tribute to this bright, energetic and personable woman who was admired by her students, including one Anthony Fabrizio, who said he never forgot the dedication, niceness, kindness that Ms. Boveri displayed in her work each and every day.
Ms. Boveri was a credit to the teaching profession and proof positive that the school day doesn’t really end for teachers when the final classroom bell sounds.
The lessons she taught and example she set will live on forever in the hearts of her students.