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On March 14, 2018, thousands of students across the United States participated in the National School Walkout to condemn gun violence. The demonstrations occurred on the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which claimed 17 lives. At 10 a.m. in their local time zone, students stood up and walked out of class.
Students exercised their First Amendment rights in a number of ways to protest gun violence and remember the 17 Parkland victims. Many of the students wore orange to represent the campaign for gun violence awareness. Some students carried signs with slogans such as “Enough is Enough” and “Books Not Bullets,” while others chose to write messages on their arms and hands. Still others taped over their mouths to draw attention to the voices lost due to gun violence. In honor of the 17 Parkland victims, students observed 17 minutes of silence.
In addition to the walkout, student leaders organized demonstrations to call for increased gun control legislation. In Idaho, hundreds of students made their way to the Statehouse, where they laid on the ground to symbolize victims of gun violence. Other students in New Jersey and California took to the football fields, using their bodies to spell out messages such as “Hope” and “No More,” respectively. Similar protests took place in other state capitals and the nation’s capital.
Although many public school districts permitted their students to participate in the walkout, some said it would be disruptive and threatened disciplinary action if students chose to walk out or leave the school campus. Other districts and schools held alternative programs, such as assemblies on gun safety or anti-bullying measures.
Survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting and students across the country organized a March for Our Lives on March 24. The march in Washington and in cities across the USA called on Congress to take action on gun violence and school safety.
Front Pages March 15, 2018
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