Cavaliers walk out in response to Supreme Court leak


Ben Schneider

Following the Supreme Court’s leaked opinion, many students gathered outside of door 11 for have their voices heard.

Ben Schneider, Editor-in-Chief

On May 9, students participated in a walkout in support of abortion rights as part of a statewide day of student action following the leak of a Supreme Court opinion which indicated the court’s intention to overturn Roe V. Wade. 

If the 1973 decision is overturned, it would remove the federal protection of abortion rights. The states would then be able to make their own laws on the issue, and several are already planning complete bans. 13 states would likely ban abortion immediately after the end of Roe V. Wade, and a number of others would enact or reinstitute restrictions. 

The walkout was organized through the Instagram page @chhsabortionrightswalkout and it took place during fourth lunch. Gathered outside of door 11, participants held a rally where several students gave speeches and many displayed signs with messages such as “bans off our bodies.”

Senior Victoria Dunham-Quigley spoke twice at the walkout. 

“The first time was to say ‘my body, my choice’ and ‘my uterus, my decision’,” Dunham-Quigley said. “The second time was to thank those that were unable to come out because their parents didn’t support the walkout or they were too scared to. I decided to speak because it is very important to me that my opinion is heard, especially in this matter. My overall message is that, yes, protesting is scary, but what we are fighting for is so important. This isn’t women vs. the court, this is the court vs. women.”

Virginia is not one of the states with an existing law that would ban abortion with approval from the Supreme Court, but governor Glenn Youngkin spoke about his “pro-life” stance following the leak of the draft opinion. 

However, there will likely be no immediate changes to the state’s abortion laws since the legislature is divided with a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the Hourse of Delegates. Currently, abortion is legal in Virginia in the first and second trimesters and is also allowed during the third trimester for anyone whose pregnancy would result in death or harm. 

With every seat in both houses of the state legislature up for reelection in 2023, the election may determine whether Virginia’s abortion laws change in the future. Sophomore Jim Rioux participated because he felt that it was a way to support something that he believes in. 

“It’s one of the most important matters facing the country right now,” Rioux said. “I think it matters to support abortion rights whether you’re a woman, a man or you don’t identify as either. Having access to medicine and life-saving procedures such as abortion are a central right, and when you start restricting that it only gets worse.”

According to Principal John Phillips, the administration followed a county-wide policy which mandates that a school can not participate in or support a walkout or protest regardless of the topic. He could not disclose the nature of any discipline received by walkout participants for leaving class, but he states that his focus was to ensure the safety of the students while they were outside the building and adhere to the county procedures.

“Any time you get up and walk out of class, then obviously we have to follow the code of conduct,” Phillips said. 

However, Rioux believes that walking out was the right way for students to take action.

“If you believe in something you should show even an ounce of support for it even if it meant leaving a lunch block,” Rioux said.