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Watching the Walk Outs: Student Gun Violence Protests Happening Across the U.S.

From Florida to the White House, gun control reform is in the national spotlight today.

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The first of several planned protests organized in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 people are unfolding across the nation today.

In a show of solidarity that is unique in American history, students across the world sent a message to lawmakers and the president that an entire generation will no longer bear to stand by as school shootings become routine headlines.

Student activists urged their peers to leave class for 17 minutes at 10am local time, one minute for every life lost when an 19-year-old walked into his former high school and opened fire with a legally purchased assault rifle.

The Seattle Times quoted one student protester:

“We have nothing to lose, but the people in Washington, D.C., and Olympia do, if they vote against bills that would prevent another tragedy,” said Beatrice Cappio, who attends University Prep.


The New York Times reports:

Demonstrations were not limited to school property. In Washington, sign-clutching students gathered outside the White House and on Capitol Hill.

It is unlikely that officials in Washington will quickly heed the demands of the students. Although Florida last week raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days, President Trump on Monday abandoned his pledge to seek national-level reforms that the National Rifle Association opposed.

At least 3,000 local protests were planned, including locations that will be linked history forever with senseless gun violence: Parkland, Fla.,  Newtown, Conn, and Columbine High School.

At least 3,000 local protests were planned, and they took a variety of forms.

The Washington Post reports that some students “planned roadside rallies to honor shooting victims and protest violence. Others were to hold demonstrations in school gyms or on football fields. In Massachusetts and Georgia and Ohio, students said they’ll head to the statehouse to lobby for new gun regulations.”

TV networks MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central all suspended programming for 17 minutes in a show of solidarity with the protestors.

How teachers and administrators will handle the unprecedented wave of activism will also vary. Some have vowed to punish students who participate, while in some areas, schools are turning the protests into teachable moments, helping to organize activities.

The walkout precedes the March for Our Lives, which is expected to draw more than a half million people to Washington, DC on the 24th.

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