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Over 200 students walk out of school to mourn passing of friend

A memorial to Patrick Gurschke, spelled out in red plastic cups, graces the fence that runs along side the football field.

Taylor Owen

A memorial to Patrick Gurschke, spelled out in red plastic cups, graces the fence that runs along side the football field.

Taylor Owen, Lifestyles Editor

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On Monday October 15th, over 200 students walked out of the building after 5th hour in an impromptu memorial service for Senior Patrick Gurshke who was killed after being struck by a car on Friday October 12th. The students walked from RB to the site of Gurshke’s accident on Maple Avenue in Brookfield. There, the students created a memorial on a street light, leaving letters and flowers.

Assistant Principal John Passarella said, “We were approached by students asking permission to leave. It is against school policy to leave during school hours, so I tried to persuade them to visit the site after school. The administration predicted that it would be around thirty students who would try to leave. We were overwhelmed when we realized how many students were actually leaving the building.”

Using Skyward and telephones, school administration began contacting parents due to inform them that their child was leaving school without permission.  Passarella noted that he and the other administrators were concerned that students might get injured because they were walking to the memorial in the streets.

Passarella spoke with students in lunch.  An early plan that he and the other administrators suggested was to ask students to gather in the commons rather than walking outside so that they could grieve together in the building rather than leaving school property.

Passarella said, “When I was outside and saw how many students were walking out, I asked my supervisor for permission to monitor them while they walked. In no way was I condoning the walk out by walking with them. I did not want another student to get hit by a car. I walked with them as a safety precaution.”

Funeral and wake services for Patrick had been set purposefully by the Gurschke family to take place after school hours so that students and staff would not have to miss school to attend.

While students who left the building were not given detentions or other administrative consequences for walking out, they were recorded as “unexcused” absences in Skyward.  Issues such as making up class work were left to the discretion of individual teachers.

About the Contributor
Taylor Owen, Lifestyles Editor
Taylor Owen writes thousands of stories for the newspaper every second of her life. She was born to write. She even came out of the delivery room with a pen in hand. Her humor is the only thing she really needs to work on. Which is why this paragraph is so short. In reality, this is...
1 Comment

One Response to “Over 200 students walk out of school to mourn passing of friend”

  1. James on January 7th, 2013 11:57 am

    A very mature and sensitive expression by students. Responsible and astute response by the administration.

    This concise article communicates with passion while being informative.

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Over 200 students walk out of school to mourn passing of friend