This year has, in large part, been defined by young people who have taken on the cause of gun control in America after a school shooting in February in Parkland, Florida left 17 people dead. On Friday, April 20, students will continue their activism with a planned walkout on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.
The organizer's website called National School Walkout a student movement to protest congressional, state and local "failures to take action to prevent gun violence."
"America is the only country in the world where so many people are killed by guns, and yet our leaders do nothing about it. In many states it’s more difficult to register to vote than it is to buy a rifle," the website states. "Apparently to some politicians, a vote is scarier than a gun. We’re changing that."
The group called for students to walk out at 10 a.m. and for the protest to last the entire day. The protest has been promoted on Twitter by David Hogg, one of the Parkland student activists who have taken on a leadership role following the tragic shooting at his high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Hogg tweeted Monday that demonstrators should join the Columbine community in acts of community service after the walkout.
"The #NationalWalkOut is happening on 4/20 (Friday) in 1100+ schools across the country—Walkout as a community to stand up against gun violence. The people of Columbine would like you to follow your demonstration with community service," Hogg tweeted. "Again the walkout is still on however the Columbine community will be committing their day to community service in remembrance of those they lost."
A previous walkout on March 14—one month after the Parkland shooting—garnered widespread participation across the country. The April walkout is organized by 16-year-old Lane Murdock, who attends Ridgefield High School in Connecticut and told ABC News that she was inspired to action after the Parkland shooting.
The April 20 walkout has sparked more than 2,000 other planned protests, ABC News reported last week. There is a planned 13-second moment of silence to honor the people who lost their life in the Columbine High School massacre 19 years ago.
Murdock proposed schools also host guest speakers, open mics and places for voter registration for their events on Friday.
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