Our recent list of school shootings from Columbine to Parkland noted how frequently connections have been made between the killings at the former in 1999 and last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. This link is now being made even more explicit by way of plans to stage a "National High School Walk-Out for Anti-Gun Violence" on April 20, Columbine's anniversary, in the wake of a March 24 rally in Washington being organized in association with organizers of the hugely successful Women's March.
Also in the planning stages is another school walk-out, set for March 14.
Here's the way that event is described on a Women's March event page:
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods. We need action. Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship.
Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school.
Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.
Here's a Women's March video about the March 14 walk-out:
The Washington, D.C., followup, dubbed "March for Our Lives," is still in the early stages. At this writing, its Facebook events page states merely, "Please check back for updates."
However, the Columbine anniversary walk-out seems further along. It has a Twitter account, @schoolwalkoutUS, with people from across the country and the world weighing in on the cause.
One recent tweet puts the message in blunt terms: "I fully support any teacher or student who decides to walk out on April 20th and refuses to go back to school until sensible gun laws are put into place. Debate all you want, but these kids don’t want to fucking die. They deserve safety. Protest! Demand justice. They work FOR US!"
The Columbine walk-out has also earned write-ups on progressive websites such as CommonDreams.org and OrangeResistance.org. But its current online nexus is at Change.org, where a petition has been gathering a great deal of steam in recent days.
Here's the introduction:
We are the students, we are the victims, we are change, fight gun violence now! High School students across the U.S.A, the way to fight back is here. There has been too much complacency on the part of politicians when it comes to gun violence. The time to act is now!
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SHOW ME HOW
Public school shootings affect communities and especially teenagers. On February, 14th a High School shooting in Parkland, Florida occurred, killing 17 people. Still, POTUS has not addressed any form of gun legislation. The majority of teenagers have no right to vote, leaving our voice unheard. The government does not hear or care how these tragedies affect our lives. Seven children and teens are killed with guns in the U.S. on an average day (https://everytownresearch.org). The violence of guns is being performed in our schools and our communities. Not the Senate floor. As the future of America, it is time for teenagers to speak their minds and put their frustration into action.
On Friday, April 20th, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting I propose a National High School student walk out. Walk out of school, wear orange and protest online and in your communities. Sign the petition if you pledge to do so. Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now. #nationalschoolwalkout
The petition collected more than 30,000 signatures in its first 24 hours, according to the page's creator, Lane Murdock, with the current total in excess of 56,000. Click for more details.