After the Parkland shooting, students have had #Enough. Thousands participated in the National School Walkout, leaving class to demand gun control reform and increased school safety!
High school students sent a major message to lawmakers on March 14: #EnoughIsEnough. Beginning at 10 AM on the East Coast, students left their classes as part of the National Student Walkout, participating in a plethora of protests meant to pressure lawmakers to pass serious gun control reform. With protests scheduled for 10 AM in every time zone of the United States, and more than 2,500 walkouts planned, it was expected to be one of the biggest student-protests in the country’s history. Scroll through our attached gallery to see tons of pics from the protests. WE WILL BE LIVE UPDATING THIS POST THROUGHOUT THE WALKOUTS
Some students began protesting early, heading to Washington, DC, before the 10:00am start time. The kids from Montgomery Blair HS in Silver Spring, Maryland and their supporters walked out of school to demonstrate in front of the White House. They carried powerful signs for President Donald Trump to see: “NRA, there is blood on your hands!” and “Thoughts and Prayers Don’t Stop Bullets”, among others. One had a reminder for our lawmakers: “we vote next.” Soon afterward, they held a respectful, 17-minute moment of silence for the students lost in the Parkland massacre.
Then, there were the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School themselves. The grieving students held their moment of silence in the school gym, sitting on the bleachers while holding lights in honor of their fallen classmates and teacher. Soon afterward, they headed out to march. Their allies in Washington began marching toward the Capitol building to demand lawmakers hear their demands for gun reform. There’s no reason why 17 innocent lives should be taken, and why an individual even needs to own an assault rifle. The entire school emptied out to take to the streets, and chanted, “What do we want? Gun control now!”
— Michelle Merlin (@michellejmerlin) March 14, 2018
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a deadly shooting last month, walk out of their classrooms to protest for stricter gun laws as part of #NationalWalkoutDay. https://t.co/Yf340l4g2R pic.twitter.com/XqdnfdWx94
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 14, 2018
— Sarah Chadwick// #NEVERAGAIN (@Sarahchadwickk) March 14, 2018
The Woodland Hills students were joined by kids from Never Again MSD (Marjory Stoneman Douglas), a student-led gun control organization, as well as Representative Ted Deutch. When the students all reached the White House around 10:05am, they kneeled down for a moment of silence — with their backs to the president’s home. THIS is what democracy looks like. During the moment of silence, Nickelodeon paused their programming for 17 minutes to observe the moment of silence. They’re not just entertaining kids; they’re supporting “the kids leading the way.” MTV, BET, and Comedy Central all followed suit.
Students from Laurel High School in Laurel, Maryland were seen walking out of their school, filing outside in a massive crowd. As did those at Monument Academy in Washington, DC. Students at Sarasota High in Sarasota, Florida carried signs showing the faces and names of those gunned down in Parkland. Kids in front of the White House screamed “You work for us.” Well, they’re right!
— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) March 14, 2018
Spotted: Middle schoolers on 14th street chanting “enough is enough” and protesting gun violence. pic.twitter.com/DvCrEz6YRT
— A.B. (@AlannaBennett) March 14, 2018
— Elizabeth Shappell (@lizzishappell) March 14, 2018
Middle schoolers in NYC also participated, walking down 14th Street with their homemade signs. Their young voices calling for change are truly haunting. These are the lives we’re putting in danger if we don’t implement gun control. Girls at West Springfield High School in Virginia posed with signs as they walked out through the football field. One sign read, “ban the piece, strive for peace”. Another read, “stop the silence, end gun violence”.
Rep. John Lewis joined in with the students, and commended them on Twitter: “Sometimes you have to get in trouble–good trouble, necessary trouble–to make a way out of no way.” Lewis was one of the leaders of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, marching alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and even doing jail time for his peaceful protesting. He’s urged people to never stop protesting, to never stop striving for social change. NY Senator Chuck Schumer, OK Senator Elizabeth Warren, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all spoke at the DC protest. CA Rep. Grace Napolitano was also present.
Everyone is inspired by a 12-year-old boy who spoke to MSNBC: “”By myself, I don’t think I have the power. But together with all these people here, I think we can make a change,” he said. The children are our future, and they’re going to remember this moment. If politicians aren’t scared yet, they have decades of Gen Z kids to look out for. Maybe the best homemade sign seen all day? A kid named Alex in DC carrying one that said, “you bet your ass I’m voting”.
Later, the students of Columbine High School in Colorado, where 13 kids were killed by two of their classmates in 1999, began their own protest. The students released balloons one at a time to honor the 17 Parkland victims. Though these kids weren’t even born when the Columbine massacre happened, it’s part of their community’s history, and they know all too well that gun control reform needs to happen.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 14, 2018
Rep. Deutch posted a haunting photo outside the Capitol, where protestors have left 7000 pairs of shoes, some clearly tiny children’s sneakers, to represent the 7000 kids killed by gun violence since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.
Cadie McNaboe, 17, a senior at Philip Barbour High School in rural West Virginia, is participating in the protests but notes that gun culture is a major part of her community. “It’s not necessarily for gun control but for gun safety and anti-gun violence,” she told Vox. “It is a challenge. You want students to feel safe; you want students to feel at home. But in this area, in particular, you can’t say guns blazing, ‘We’re going to take away all guns.’ You’ve got to be very clear.”
This is just the beginning. There’s a second walkout planned on April 20, 19 years after the shooting at Columbine. On top of that, there’s the March For Our Lives on March 24. With demonstrations planned in 725 locations across the world, students and their families are determined to bring an end to school shootings in their lifetimes.