In response to the shooting at a high school in Florida that left 17 dead but prompted only “thoughts and prayers” by lawmakers, students plan to walk out of schools across the nation at 10 a.m. on March 14 for 17 minutes.
Locally, Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada Flintridge and Franklin Elementary School in Glendale are taking part in the event, according to organizers of the Women’s March, who are putting together this demonstration.
“Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. across every time zone on March 14, 2018 to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,” the group posted on its website.
“We need action,” the message continues. “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.”
The 17 minutes commemorates the 17 students and others killed in the attack.
On Feb. 16, 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, walked on campus, pulled a fire alarm and began shooting, hitting 14 students and three staff members.
Another walkout is planned on April 20, which will mark the 19th year since two students killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Immediately following the shooting many Republicans in Congress began a familiar line, saying now was not the time to talk about gun laws.
However, they were met by students demanding changes to gun laws.
After President Trump took to Twitter to place blame on the FBI for not acting on tips about the shooter, student Emma Gonzalez took Trump to task for not talking about guns or the shooter.
“The best thing for us to do is ignore him and to continue fighting our fight, the fight he refuses to acknowledge,” she said, calling Trump’s words “disgraceful.”
The White House has said Trump favors expanding universal background checks. However in his statement to the nation after the shooting, Trump did not mention guns or background checks, instead focusing on mental illness.