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Multiple School Walkouts and Marches Planned for Gun Reform

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, students are demanding action

Laura Dorwart

Published on: February 15, 2018


Update as of Feb.19: There are now three nationwide school walk outs and protests in the works:

The original article is below.


In the wake of the recent mass shooting — in which Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old with potential ties to white supremacists, killed at least 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with an AR-15 assault rifle — some parents, activists, and teachers have taken to social media to suggest that a nationally organized school walkout could send a powerful message about the importance of enacting stricter gun control policies.

On Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere, people are advocating for parents to keep their children at home and refuse to send them back until “meaningful gun control” is enacted. Walkouts, advocates suggest, could serve to put pressure on Congress and both local and national lawmakers and politicians to make gun control their highest priority. Such a form of direct action, they say, undertaken with the full cooperation of as many parents and teachers as possible, could be a powerful protest that catalyzes change and demonstrates the fear and tragedy faced by today’s educators and their students.

It stands to reason that the very populations most affected by gun control, or our lack thereof, in the U.S., should be the ones we listen to most ardently about what to do next. Every day, students (and teachers, administrators, and staffmembers) in classrooms across the country are afraid. They participate in lockdown drills and discuss emergency evacuation plans in the event of a shooting. And our fears aren’t unfounded: The Florida attack is the eighth school shooting that has resulted in death or injury in the U.S. so far this year.

As a mom to an infant, I’m always making plans for the future with my husband and our family. We talk about how we should react when she has a fall — calmly, so she doesn’t learn to panic. We talk about what we’re going to feed her — mostly healthy foods, but admittedly not without the occasional donut run or trip to Mickey D’s. And every parent, I think, is worried. We’re worried that the latest congestion and cough could turn into something worse. We’re worried that our children will be hurt, sick, bullied or disappointed. We shouldn’t have to worry that the mere act of sending them to school could result in tragedy and severe trauma.

But now we have to do have to worry about guns — and the very real potential of a mass shooting. What’s more, we have to talk about them: to each other and to our children, too. And when we talk about where our daughter will go to school in the future, the question, now, isn’t just public or private, charter or homeschooling, Montessori or traditional, all-day or half-day.

It’s a question of where she’ll be safe.

To learn more about the proposed walk out, follow this group on Facebook.

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