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National School Walkout 2018

Next month will mark the 19 year anniversary of the Columbine High School school shooting. Meanwhile today marked one month since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Dozens of other school shootings have occurred in the time between the massacres at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Columbine. 

On March 14, students in every time zone in the United States walked out of school at 10:00 a.m. their time. The purpose of the walkout was to encourage congress to approve gun control legislation. The reactions varied from school to school, some school districts encouraged students to walkout while other school districts threatened to take disciplinary actions. 

Just a week ago Florida changed its gun laws, resulting in the minimum age to purchase a gun being 21 as opposed to its previous minimum age of 18. On Monday President Trump abandoned his pledge to seek national reforms on gun control, which angered many students. 

Students in Washington, DC marched to the white house, carrying signs that demanded gun control. In New York students also carried signs demanding gun control, and they marched the streets. The walkouts lasted for seventeen minutes, representing the seventeen lives that were lost during last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

Many of the students who participated in the walkout wore the color orange, a color that represents a call for gun control. In 2013 a fifteen year old student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago. She was an honor student who had performed at former President Obama’s inauguration only one week before. Since then her parents chose the color orange to honor her and call for gun control because its what hunters wear to protect themselves from other hunters, which is why students participating in the walkout today decided to wear the color orange. 

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas woke up before sunrise to place pinwheels around campus, in honor of their classmates who lost their lives. One student hung a banner that read “Be a nuisance where it counts. Do your part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be Depressed, discouraged and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed and corruption and bad politics- but never give up” a quote by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who their school was named after. 

Students at Columbine High School, who were not even born when the shooting occurred almost 19 years ago spoke out as well. They talked about how the tragedy continues to effect their community to this day, and how even now almost nineteen years later there has not been enough change when it comes to gun control. 

At the moment congress has not released a statement regarding the school walkouts or potentially approving gun control legislation. President Donald Trump has not yet released a statement regarding the school walkouts either. 

Kennedy Castillo is a student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley majoring in communications. She is the founder of her personal brand Kennedy C Media consisting of KennedyCBlog.com, The Simply Kennedy Podcast and Kennedy Castillo Youtube Channel. She previously worked with Riddle & Bloom as an Amazon Prime Student Ambassador. She is a freelance writer with published articles in Woman2Woman Magazine, Glue Magazine, Lune Magazine, Vinazine and Her Culture Magazine. She is the current Campus Correspondent and President of the UTRGV Her Campus Chapter and previously worked as a Her Campus Chapter Advisor, Her Campus Chapter Expansion Intern and Her Campus High School Ambassador Program Advisor.
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