Anna Sheffer
April 20, 2018 10:36 am
Tom Willams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

On March 14th, thousands of students around the country participated in the first National School Walkout Day to call for gun control reform. The protests were the culmination of a month of preparation, and garnered national attention. But American students are not done speaking out against gun violence. Today, April 20th, there is a second National School Walkout, and this demonstration promises to be just as powerful.

Unlike the March walkouts, which were only scheduled to last for 17 minutes, protesters today are encouraged to participate all day. After observing 13 seconds of silence at 10 a.m. in each time zone, participants have been urged to join rallies and speeches, and some are even planning to walk to their local government offices to demand change. According to Vox, some schools will count participation in the walkout as an unexcused absence.

The April 20th National School Walkout was started by Lane Murdock, a 16-year-old sophomore in Connecticut. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Murdock started a Change.org petition calling for a school walkout on the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine shooting. According to the National School Walkout website, more than 2,600 protests have been planned for today, with events in every state.

Across the country, students wearing orange and carrying signs have walked out of class.

At one Florida school, four students stood strong in their protest, even though they were the only participants.

Students from as far away as Guam even joined the school walkout.

And Parkland survivors joined today’s demonstration, too.

Students’ gun control activism has begun to have a tangible effect. In late February, several retailers, including Walmart, pledged to stop selling firearms or ammunition to customers under 21. But in terms of national gun control laws, there is still a long way to go.

Today’s National School Walkout shows just how committed to change these students are. We are proud to see so many participate in these marches, and we will stand by those calling for gun control reform. We need to end gun violence now.

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