Throughout the United States, especially starting on the East Coast, waves of students marched outside of class on Wednesday morning both out of respect for the victims of the Parkside shooting and to demand stricter gun laws in the United States; starting at 10 A.M. ET, and continuing throughout the country as local times reach 10 A.M. respectively, students would stand out for 17 minutes, in honor of the 17 victims of the school shooting in Florida. The date of March 14 was chosen in honor of the fact that it would be exactly one month after the Parkside shooting.
According to CNN, the organizers and students involved in the walkout have three main goals they are demanding from Congress; the ban of assault weapons, requiring universal background checks before gun sales and passing a gun violence restraining order law allowing courts to disarm people who have violent tendencies.
With each group of students and protesters, people showcased their own individual influences throughout their walkouts; according to CNN, in New Jersey, for example, students chanted “I am a bullet-free zone,” holding signs that reportedly read, “Chalk not Glocks!”
How people are getting involved?
At 10 A.M., at various local times, various television networks pulled programming for 17 minutes to showcase solidarity with the event; according to Fortune, this included Viacom’s networks, meaning that MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central took part in suspending on-air content for the event. In addition, MTV allowed students to control their social media accounts for the walkout. In addition, Viacom’s brands are also planning similar promotions for the upcoming March For Our Lives event planned for March 24.
According to CNN, there were also walkouts outside the United States; in one example, students and teachers at the International School of Tanganyika in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, participated in a walkout showing solidarity with the American students. Courtney Park, a teacher and librarian at the school, issued the following statement:
“We are lucky to live in a country that is relatively (civilian) gun-free, so it’s not something our students have to think about, but they are aware of the school shootings in the USA, and some understand the greater contexts of the NRA and its influence in politics.”
As this story is developing, more information will be updated as it is released.
National School Walkout Day Photos & Videos
— Barbara Kanninen (@BarbaraKanninen) March 14, 2018
students walking out of Bedford Academy High in Bed-stuy (they have some classes inside the YMCA) pic.twitter.com/246wODMvJf
— Emma Whitford (@emma_a_whitford) March 14, 2018
— Yes We Can Columbus (@YesWeCanCbus) March 14, 2018