On Wednesday, March 14, schools and students across the country participated in a national walkout to honor not only the 17 people who lost their lives last month but all of those who have lost their lives to gun violence. Students from Stoneman Douglas High School had previously announced the intent to stage a walkout during school hours to commemorate the loss.
They asked all students, faculty, and community members that were willing to walk out at 10 am local time and participate in 17 minutes of silence. Schools across the country saw large numbers of students leave and make their voices heard during this time. Organizers at schools called names off each minute and a moment of silence was taken for that individual.
This exercise was not only to remember those lost but also to show dissatisfaction with current gun laws.
Though many schools were encouraging about allowing students to speak out and walk out, some schools did begin to punish those who participated. Students reported that they were suspended, given detentions and more for walking out of class that day.
On Capitol Hill, the people there made their voices heard as well. This past week, we saw photos of 7,000 pairs of shoes. Each pair represented a person that was killed due to gun violence in the schools. These numbers are the people that have passed away due to gun violence since the Newtown school shooting. Some pairs, like those of Daniel Mauser (who was killed at Columbine High School), were worn by the victims and left by their families to honor him them.
If you are looking to take action or for more resources, please go to www.nationalschoolwalkout.net
You may also want to contact your local representative about gun laws in your state. Visit www.usa.gov/elected-officials to find that information.