Acero’s “Chalk-Out” for Peace

Acero’s Rufino Tamayo Elementary School held a school “Chalk-Out” on March 14th in support of the National School Walkout Day. At 10:00am on March 14th, the students and teachers walked out of school and expressed their thoughts and feelings in chalk on the school’s blacktop. Messages included calls for peace, unity, and an end to violence.

The idea to host a chalk-out came from students who expressed their desire to participate to Principal Matt Katz. Angel Rodriguez, an 11-year-old sixth grade student, was one of the students who wrote to Principal Katz. Angel said he “wanted to make a difference in the world and would like something to be done about guns and to get them off of the streets.” Angel chose to draw a tree with 17 oranges, one for each victim in the Parkland shooting. Angel was proud of his school and said he hoped that the public could see what they were doing as a school to support the victims.

Berenice Aldaco, Tamayo’s eighth grade student council President, heard of the walk out but wanted to find a way to make it work at her school. At Tamayo, March was “Art in our School” month and Berneice thought that incorporating art with a message of anti-violence would benefit all students at her school. For Berneice, the opportunity to have her voice heard, as well as connect with the students, made the chalk-out a special experience.

Leilani Rivera learned of the idea of the chalk-out from student council president Berneice. Leilani wanted to participate because she said that she is “tired of the violence in the world and wanted to give respect to the students who lost their lives in the shooting.” For Leilani, having the school come together “was amazing.”