Eight school shootings and 29 mass casualty attacks have occurred in 2018 alone, with the latest tragedy at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, leaving 17 teachers and kids dead and another 15 injured. Fed up with Congress’ lack of action on gun control legislation and fearful for their children and students; teachers, parents, and communities around the country are demanding their voices be heard with a campaign to walk out of schools on March 14.
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, a sub-group of the Women’s March organization, is calling for teachers, students, school administrators, and allies to take part in their country-wide #NationalSchoolWalkout campaign at 10 am across every time zone to send Congress a message on gun violence that children and students need more than “thoughts and prayers.” We need Congress to take action to pass gun reform.
“Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” reads the group’s page. “Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school. Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.”
The walkout will last for 17 minutes, one for each victim who lost their lives in the Broward County, Florida school shooting. The Women’s March school-out movement has grown to include dozens of elementary schools, high schools, and colleges and universities across the nation who will take to the streets.
Kim Russell, Executive Adviser of Women’s March, is encouraging those who participate in walking out of class or just coming out in support of children and students, to wear orange in solidarity and support of victims of gun violence.
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Russell said in an interview with the All The Moms publication. “The school shootings just keep happening and happening. There’s no escaping it. Congress needs to hear from us.”
By press time Monday morning, over 26,000 people said they were participating in the National School Walkout on the Women’s March event page another 97,000 are interested.
A little closer to home, children, and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington, DC to protest gun violence on March 24. The group was organized by students across the country to demand politicians in Congress make their lives and safety a priority.
The Richmond chapter of Women’s March is also willing to help facilitate the walkout by working with other students and organization that are demanding protection for children, teachers, and communities.
“We’re ready to play our role! WMRVA plans to meet with local groups who specialize in this work to lay the groundwork,” said Alysia CW, an organizer of the local chapter. “Gun violence affects everyone. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t look at race, class, gender, age, religion or anything else. It does affect some groups more than others, but there’s still one solution for all. We need common sense gun control across this nation. We can’t afford to lose one more life when we have the power to prevent it. No more choosing not to.”
Click here to add your event to the map of the walkout event or find one near you.