What You Need to Know About the Student Walkout to End Gun Violence
Why local students will leave their classrooms at 10 a.m. this morning — and why the School District of Philadelphia will support them.
Students in Philadelphia and across the country will participate in a 17-minute walkout on Wednesday in protest of federal lawmakers’ hesitancy to pass tougher gun laws.
The public action comes exactly a month after 17 people were shot and killed by a 19-year-old gunman at a Parkland, Fla., high school — one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history.
— Enough: National School Walkout (@School_Walkout) February 20, 2018
Students will stand outside for 17 minutes to commemorate the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting. Some will also stand for an 18th minute, in honor of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington, who was shot and killed inside Huffman High School in Birmingham, Ala. last week. Others, like students at Philly’s Freire Charter School, plan to read aloud the names of victims of gun violence in their own communities.
On Tuesday, we spoke to seven local students about why they were participating in the protest. One student, Freire Charter School junior Nafir Royal, said, “Because thoughts and prayers and condolences are not enough anymore. People are ignorant. We need action. There is power in numbers.”
The School District of Philadelphia has said that it will support students who participate in the walkout.
“We support student’s rights to self-expression and awareness of social issues,” superintendent Dr. William Hite wrote in a letter to principals this month. “Please remind students to be respectful of students on campus who may not wish to participate, and/or students who may hold opposing views to those shared during the event.”
“As a reminder, should students choose to walk-out, discipline should not be imposed,” he added.
— Nathaniel Popkin (@NathanielPopkin) March 14, 2018
— Janet McHale (@Janet_McH) March 14, 2018