After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that claimed 17 lives back in February impacted the nation, many young people throughout the country have taken action to take a stand when it comes to gun violence. In recent news, one teenage girl, Lane Murdock, has organized the National School Walkout which will take place on April 20, the anniversary of an older tragedy, the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, in which two student gunmen claimed the lives of 12 students and a teacher.
What is the April National School Walkout?
As mentioned above, the event will take place on April 20. The walkout will begin at 10 A.M. local time for participants throughout the country. Participants will then stay outside and partake in 13 seconds of silence, in honor of the 13 victims of the Columbine shooting; in this way, the event will be similar to the National School Walkout that was organized last month in honor of the victims of the Stoneman Douglas shooting.
At this time, it is also believed that thousands of students will take part in the event. At this time, it is believed that over 2,000 events are registered across the country, with at least one in each state and other events in foreign countries.
Inspired by the National School Walkout that took place back in March, Murdock organized the event with three of her classmates, one of whom was identified as Grant Yuan, who issued the following statement with ABC News to explain the event more in-depth, adding that the walkout is only the start:
“This walkout isn’t the end — it’s kind of a start, actually. We’ve rolled out a chapter-based organization to capture the momentum of the walkout, to capture that raw energy as it kind of reaches this peak. And focus it and allow it to carry the movement on until November [midterm elections].”
“Students enrolled in their local chapters will plan the walkouts and follow through with the walkouts and then transition into a school club type organization — not necessarily sanctioned by the school.”
“Then the chapter-based organizations will meet regulatory to: A. Get young people who are eligible to vote [by this November] registered. And B. Get young people interested in politics and remove any sense of fear or apprehension from it, or just general confusion, and to raise political awareness.”
Who is Lane Murdock?
Murdock is is a 16-year-old sophomore at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut.
When describing how the issues impacting the country inspired her to start the event, Murdock also issued the following statements with ABC News:
“This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes.”
“As a student who can’t vote, you don’t have a lot of power. But what you have that’s powerful is your voice, your thoughts, but also your attendance. And leaving for longer than 17 minutes, leaving and breaking up that schedule that all American students have every day is how you get people to pay attention.”
“We live in a kind of desensitized country…After reflecting on my own lack of emotion, seeing how wrong our country is, the fact that this keeps on happening. I felt so helpless. I knew I needed to do something.”
“I started to think to myself, ‘What can I do to change the narrative? But also, ‘What can I do to give people who maybe don’t have as much time on their hands as I do, to give them that power?’”
“This will not be a day off…This is something [organizers and participants] should be proud of because they are putting themselves in the narrative and they are changing it to one that is proactive.”