Central Kitsap High School Students Hold Sexual Assault Awareness Month Walkout

April is known to some as sexual assault awareness month. Before the month ended a group of students felt like there should be more action taken against sexual assault at Central Kitsap High School, and so they came together to lead a sexual assault awareness rally.


Laney Lark

Students hold up their signs protesting at SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) walkout at CKHS.

On April 28, 2023, beginning at 10:40 AM, Central Kitsap High School students spilled out into the front courtyard of the school to protest against sexual assault. The event was organized by Kirsten Perry, a sophmore, who felt that CKHS needed to do more to acknowledge its survivors.

Students listen adamantly to the speakers share their stories as some message others about the rally. (Photographer Robyn Fancher)

“As somebody who’s a part of the CK culture and somebody who’s involved in school, I saw a lot of things that were going on that were inexcusable and some things that have happened to me,” said Perry. “When I heard that admin was doing nothing for sexual assault awareness month, I thought that something should have been done.” 

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, “On average, there are 463,634 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.” And “only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police.”

Senior Kiayana Fleischer speaking to the crowd during the SAAM walkout. (Photographer Laney Lark)

“It’s not a bad thing to speak up about what happened to you,” said Cypher Washburn, a speaker at the rally, “It’s an incredibly good thing. And you are not alone in this.”

The protest highlighted student speakers who wanted to use their voice to bring attention to the way that CKHS handles reports of sexual assault and violence.

“School is supposed to be a safe place and I’ve seen so many people have to suffer through the same thing,” said speaker Elizabeth Suarez. “And I feel like we should just come together and try and stop this issue, especially at school.”

The students that spoke banded together to call out what they see as unacceptable treatment of sexual assault survivors. Many of the students who attended the protest also feel the same way. 

Student Liz Suarez speaks out during the Sexual Assault Awareness Month rally. (Photographer Rory Manskie)

“I think it’s important for the school to hear our voices and hear what we have to say, because they don’t listen to us otherwise,” said attendee Ky Moody.

It was reiterated many times throughout the walkout that victims should stand up for themselves and speak out. 

“If you are somebody who has been sexually assaulted, stand up,”said Perry. “Don’t be scared. You have so many people here to support you. We have ways to support you, you will have people backing you, we believe in you.”

Sophomore Kirsten Perry speaks to the crowd as the opener to the walkout. (Photographer Robyn Fancher)

The protest ended at 11:10, once the school’s advisory period was over. After multiple students spoke out about personal experiences, including an anonymous statement submitted by another student. 

“After this protest, I felt free, I felt like I can finally move on from this issue and I can talk to more people about it and I can communicate,” said Suarez.