Today, students across the U.S. plan to stage a school walkout.
According to The Associated Press, since the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, demonstrations have sprung up on school campuses around the country. But the first large-scale, coordinated national demonstration is planned for today when organizers of the Women’s March have called for a 17-minute walkout , one minute for each of the 17 students and staff members killed in Florida.
Among those taking part will be students in New Britain and Bristol. Other area schools have arranged activities for students to participate in to show their awareness of, and opposition to, gun violence and the epidemic of school shootings in the U.S.
While some parents, educators, school administrators and lawmakers may not be keen on the idea that students will disrupt the school day, we recognize the importance of the walkout to those youngsters who plan to participate.
Not only does this act of civil disobedience give students a voice in a battle that directly threatens them, the walkout also offers an opportunity for students to take control of their future. This 17-minute period allows kids from across the nation to stand in solidarity against the would-be bullies, potential school shooters, apathetic lawmakers and the cowards who hide behind the Second Amendment and say enough is enough.
They will, in essence, be saying: enough debate, enough armed school officers, enough metal detectors, enough active shooter drills, enough talk and empty promises and above all, enough funerals.
Schools should be places of learning where freedom of expression, tolerance and support should be available at every level and where students can walk the halls unimpeded and unafraid.
During today’s walkout, students will be taking a leadership role in order to teach the world an important lesson.
We should all pay attention to their message, not just for 17 minutes, but from this day going forward.