The kids are walking out of school today to demand an end to mass shootings. Or at least an end to the ease with which the tools for which mass shootings can be obtained. They aren’t looking for thoughts or prayers. They aren’t impressed by people noting that cars or hammers or knives can be deadly, too, and they certainly aren’t paying any attention to people telling them they’re too young to understand politics. They walked out by the thousands across the country, at 10 AM in all the time zones.
Students from Montgomery Blair HS in Silver Spring, Maryland and allies walk out of school and head to DC to demonstrate in front of the White House. “It’s important to stand with the young people as they find their voice, take a hard line on this issue.” https://t.co/j6oMNRE4dl pic.twitter.com/3d7go3yD5d
— ABC News (@ABC) March 14, 2018
Most of the walkouts were scheduled to last just 17 minutes, to remember the 17 people murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one month ago today, but many walkouts are lasting longer. In Washington DC, students are gathering outside the White House and Congress. They’re everywhere.
— Jake Lubbehusen (@jakelubb) March 14, 2018
As a prelude to the walkouts, protesters placed 7,000 pairs of shoes in front of the US Capitol yesterday to represent the approximately 7,000 kids killed by guns since Sandy Hook. Many of the shoes were donated by parents who lost kids to shootings.
Buzzfeed’s Lissandra Villa said that after the display was taken down, the group that organized the protest will donate the shoes to homeless shelters.
For today’s walkout, it wasn’t only teens, either. Anyone worried that American schools are failing is going to have to have a talk with this 11-year-old who made a press kit for the walkout at her school in Alexandria, Virginia.
Covering a walkout this morning at an elementary school in Virginia, and the 11-year-old organizers had a press packet ready for me. pic.twitter.com/eeElhGciid
— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
Kids at an alternative school in Chicago walked out, too.
Some scenes from walkout that just happened in North Lawndale at CCA Academy, an alternative HS. Students briefly blocked traffic & held signs representing family & friends who’d been killed by gun violence. They demanded an end to school closings & more investments in community pic.twitter.com/TCZJ1WtFey
— Kalyn Belsha (@kalynbelsha) March 14, 2018
Reporter Kalyn Belsha spoke to one of the students, Nicole Murdoch, who
said as the students were making their posters to honor loved ones killed by gun violence, one of the hardest parts was tracking down all the birth & death dates, because there were so many. She held up a sign honoring 10 CCA students who’ve been killed since 2013
It might be time to listen to the kids, huh?
Were some people jerks about it? Of course! Chicago Republicans filed a formal complaint after the Chicago Schools CEO Janice Jackson gave permission for kids to leave class without being punished, arguing that it was school sponsored liberal indoctrination. Even worse than science class!
In Pennsylvania’s Council Rock school district, some enterprising administrators blocked exits in one school to prevent a walkout. Smart!
Atlanta’s Booker T Washington High School said it would “severely punish” students who left the school, but eventually compromised and allowed the kids to take a knee in the hallways:
And this thread from our own Boise is stirring more than a little bit of hometown pride. Please do click through for the whole thing!
Reporting from Boise High School – this is Lily, a sophomore. “A lot of people don’t think much of Idaho. But we’re people & our voices matter. Our teachers said this is our right to practice civil disobedience.” pic.twitter.com/sJrjScuN7I
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) March 14, 2018
The spirit of the day was summed up best by a master of youth protest, who knows change is hard, and possible:
Wonkette is driving from Montana to DC, and meeting up with you along the way, for the #teens March For Our Lives. If you’d like, you can help us out with gas! We love you almost as much as we love these damn kids.