Teachers and high-school students are staging walkouts across the US today (March 14) to demand tighter gun control. The walkouts start at 10am ET on the east coast, then continue westward through the day.
The walkouts—organized by a group of young people within the larger Women’s March group—honor the 17 victims of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, and will last 17 minutes.
This will be the first of two nationwide school walkouts. Another is planned staged for March 20, ahead of the #NeverAgain march on March 24. The two events have joined forces as part of a broader movement for more gun control in the United States.
Over 3,100 walkouts are planned, all led by students. There aren’t specific guidelines on what to do during the walkouts: Some students will circle their schools holding hands, some will register to vote, and students from schools that are currently in spring break demonstrate in front of local city councils.
The group organizing the walkouts openly opposes some of the gun policies currently being discussed, including putting armed guards in schools. The group also has some very specific demands, presented as policy and bill proposals:
- Banning Assault Weapons & High Capacity Magazines / S. 2095
- Expanding Background Checks to All Gun Sales / S 2009
- Passing Gun Violence Restraining Order Law / H.R. 2598 / S. 1212
- Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act / S.1856 / H.R. 155
The organizers have encouraged students to walk out even without their schools’ permission, as an expression of their freedom of speech.