Nationwide walkout continues fight for our lives

David Eskichyan and Rudraj Koppikar

Students across the nation have planned another walkout for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, to push for gun reform.

The National School Walkout has been planned by students at Ridgefield High School in Ridgefield, CT to protest months of inaction by Congress. This walkout follows the shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, which left 17 dead and as many injured. The walkout is also to remember the 13 victims of the Columbine massacre which took place in 1999 and left 15 people, including the two shooters, dead.

Previous student-led demonstrations included the March for Our Lives campaign, which brought hundreds of thousands of students in Los Angeles, CA and Washington D.C. to march for more restrictive gun laws and a previous walkout where students walked out of their classrooms to remember the victims of the Parkland shooting.

“Even though it’s an all day event, I think it would still be worth it to fight for stricter gun laws and regulations,” sophomore Lucianne Lejarde said. “Hopefully this walkout will be as impactful and successful as the previous one.”

Unlike the March For Our Lives walkout on March 13, The National School Walkout will be an all day event. Students across the nation will walk out of class at 10 a.m., but instead of returning to class, students will peacefully protest until the end of the school day.

On the day of the walkout, students are expected to wear price tags which reflect how how much NRA-bought politicians think students lives are worth. Students in California are worth $0.01 according to these politicians, such as U.S. Representative Ken Calvert. This money is accepted in large sums from the NRA.

While district officials were lenient in allowing students to participate in the 17-minute walkout on March 14, they are not supporting a full-day protest.

“It would depend on what students are doing but I can not authorize students should be missing school,” Principal Deb Smith said. “We have to provide supervision for students, so if students do walkout there will be supervision.”

While these demonstrations have inspired unprecedented activism from students, Congress as a whole has been largely silent on the issue even as individual members have voiced their opinions on the movement. Most demonstrations have not cited any specific political goals beyond more restrictive gun legislature which could range from more comprehensive background checks to a complete repeal of the Second Amendment.

“I would definitely participate in the walkout in order to promote gun control,” junior Jason Silva said. “Action needs to be taken and I think this is a good way to do so and to promote awareness.”

The National School Walkout has a counterpart being led by the Network of Public Education, the National Day of Action. Students are going to walk out of their classes and will take 13 seconds of silence to remember the 13 victims of the Columbine massacre. but many say they support the protest.

“I feel like it’s a great cause and a good way to raise awareness for gun violence,” sophomore Esmeralda Martinez said.