Students and teachers across the US are staging school walkouts today to demand tighter gun control, beginning at 10 am EST on the east coast and continuing till tonight. Early social media posts reveal press kits handwritten by elementary schoolers and high-schoolers holding hands in peaceful demonstration around their schools, in a life-affirming children’s protest.
The demonstration follows a spontaneous nationwide walkout last month, which took place in solidarity with survivors of the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. A counter movement online, organized under the hashtag #WalkUpNotOut, has argued that students should spend their energy befriending loners and potential school shooters, rather than marching for gun control.
But today, along with students sharing their voices on social media, many parents, teachers and bystanders have expressed pride in the young gun control activists through their own posts or in interviews with media.
One month ago, Olivia came to me and asked if she could participate in a youth led protest against school gun violence after the tragic #Parkland shooting. * She showed me something she'd seen on social media. My parental instinct initially said, "Hell, no." But the super militant "stand for what's right no matter the cost" teenager I used to be reminded me of the importance of supporting her in using her voice for what she believes in. * I'm grateful her school supported the students and allowed them to organize and execute their own walkout protest, where others have threatened disciplinary action against students who walk out. * As parents it's our job to create safe spaces for our children to express themselves, to learn, to try new things, to fail at others, to change their minds and to find their way in a world that can often be unforgiving. I'm raising a good human, and that's what matters most. * #nationalschoolwalkout #enough #guncontrol #parentingthatworks
The Nor’easter couldn’t keep students at Burlington High School from joining the #NationalSchoolWalkout on March 14th, 2018 — to stand in solidarity with students nationwide, to demand change to gun laws, to insist on safety in schools, to remember the 17 lives lost one month ago in Parkland, FL. #PeacefulProtest #EngagedYouth #FutureOfAmerica #InspiredByInaction
Despite the snow and cold temperatures, NFA students lent their voices to the #NationalSchoolWalkout, honoring the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, in Parkland, FL, and bringing awareness to the many senseless acts of school violence throughout the U.S. #nfaschool #norwichfreeacademy