This year, April 20th marks the 19th anniversary of the horrific shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that first truly brought school shootings to the national consciousness, and it’s also – for the first time – National School Walkout Day. At 10 a.m., students all over the United States will be walking out of class to protest governmental inaction in preventing gun violence.
These days, we’re used to seeing high school students lead the charge for change in gun laws, and Lane Murdock, a sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Fairfield County and leader behind National Student Walkout Day, is among them.With no prior political activism, the teenager was moved to action after the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, creating an online petition that very day at change.org calling for government action to combat gun violence. (As this articles goes live, well over 250,000 have signed and the number continues to rise.)
Murdock, who has said in interviews she wishes to be a journalist, has stressed that students solely run this movement. Somehow she has combined organizing a national movement with the requisite press attention, being a full-time high school student and using Twitter to her full advantage.
According to the groups website, National School Walkout , over 2,100 walkouts – at least one in each state – are planned. Student activists have been able to find detailed guides, written by students for students, how to organize and hold their own walkouts. According to the site, the group has a three-pronged goal: Hold elected officials accountable, promote solutions to gun violence and demystify and engage students in the political system.
You can check and see if a school in your area is officially participating by visiting https://act.indivisible.org/event/national-school-walkout/ and entering a zip code.
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