Students from over 3000 schools nationwide and more than 30 in San Diego stopped what they were doing on Wednesday, March 14, to send a message.
This was about more than guns. This was about saying no more business as usual. This was about saying platitudes won’t do. This was about saying personal attacks on survivors just makes their cause stronger.
Making change is a lot of work. I hope and pray they continue on the path of righteousness.
Thanks to San Diego Unified for being supportive.
“The only thing students should fear at school is a pop quiz… when we say ‘never again,’ we must remember that our actions speak louder than words.” #NationalWalkoutDay #StudentsStandUp pic.twitter.com/DkbXbTWQjt
— San Diego Unified (@sdschools) March 14, 2018
Let’s take a look at some media coverage of #NationalWalkoutDay.
Guardian reporter Jamiles Lartey described the scene at Booker T Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia, where administrators put the school on lockdown.
— Jamiles Lartey (@JamilesLartey) March 14, 2018
One place where live coverage was muted was… wait for it… Fox News.
Thousands of students went beyond the school walkout mode for the protest, gathering outside the White House–where they stood with backs turned for 17 minutes– and the US Capitol.
From The Washington Post:
On Capitol Hill, elected officials pledged to students that this time, the outcome of protests will be different than what happened following earlier mass shootings.
“I look at the crowd and I see the future, and I see you, and I came here to say thank you,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said before leading the crowd in a “Si se puede” chant, the Spanish phrase for “Yes we can.” “Because I know you will accomplish what I and others have failed to do.”
From ABC News:
Over 3,000 walkout events were registered to take part in today’s call on Congress to pass tighter gun control laws, according to ENOUGH National School Walkout, the event organizers.
“Remember why we are walking out,” Stoneman Douglas survivor Lauren Hogg wrote on Twitter today. “We are walking out for my friends that passed, all children that have been taken because of gun violence. We are walking out for the empty desks in my classes, and the unsaid goodbyes. This epidemic of School shootings must stop.”
When Nickelodeon has more moral courage than your Congressman… pic.twitter.com/3vfdr42YNK
— Dan Ward (@DanWardVA07) March 14, 2018
From the Associated Press:
From Florida to New York, students poured out of their schools, marching through the streets or gathering on campus to demonstrate. Some schools applauded students for taking a stand or at least tolerated the walkouts, while others threatened discipline.
The coordinated walkout was organized by Empower, the youth wing of the Women’s March, which brought thousands to Washington last year. Although the group wanted students to shape protests on their own, it also offered them a list of demands for lawmakers, including a ban on assault weapons and mandatory background checks for all gun sales. “Our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence,” the organization said on its website.
Other protests planned in coming weeks include the March for Our Lives rally for school safety, which organizers say is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the nation’s capital on March 24. Another round of school walkouts is planned for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado.
“We don’t feel safe in schools anymore,” Sarah Chatfield said. A 15-year-old high school student from Maryland, Chatfield had joined a crowd of hundreds protesting outside the White House, with some sitting silent with their backs turned.
“Trump is talking about arming teachers with guns,” she said. “That is not a step in the right direction.”
Soon after, some of the students began marching toward Capitol Hill. “Hey hey, ho ho, the NRA has got to go!” they chanted, referring to the powerful gun-rights interest group, the National Rifle Association.
As students walked out of schools across the nation calling for stricter gun control measures, the National Rifle Association had a message of its own:
— NRA (@NRA) March 14, 2018
In Pennsylvania, a school walkout was cut short after phone threats of a drive-by shooting. From NewsRadio WKOK:
Some students at Shikellamy High School participated in the national school walkout Wednesday. An estimated 200 students came pouring out of the school at 10am. Shikellamy Senior Heather Beveridge led the group of protesters in a moment of silence for those who have fallen, and then addressed the crowd, “Let this walk out today, be a symbol of remembrance, and a sign for us to be aware of what’s going on, and to be forces of change within ourselves.”
Beveridge told WKOK that she thinks the shootings and the response her generation has had to them has only begun, “The New York Times called our generation, ‘The Generation of Mass Shootings,’ and I believe that that statement struck a chord with a lot of people, because this issue is something that’s recurring and I think it’s really important that students can gather together to recognize the issues and to take action within ourselves.”
After about seven minutes into the walk out, Sunbury Police ordered the students to return to the school stating a threat was made against the school. Police and school faculty escorted the students back into the school where they finished the protest in the auditorium.
From NBC News:
Emily Lower, a senior from Central High School in St. Joseph, Missouri, said a few hundred students showed up to the walkout — “way better than we expected.”
“I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face,” she said. “To see that many kids engaged and what their voices could accomplish and seeing the masses, it was an incredible feeling.”
At Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., the walkout lasted 30 minutes — 17 minutes for the Parkland victims, and 13 more minutes for the massacre at their high school in 1999. During the half-hour of silence, students released red, white, or blue balloons, one at a time, in memory of those killed.
Locally, Board of Supervisors candidate Lori Saldaña returned to her alma mater James Madison High School to participate in a Safety Rally on school mass shootings, gun violence, student safety and political action.
— California Endowment (@CalEndow) March 14, 2018
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