Students across the country are walking out of their classes Wednesday to advocate for reform to gun control legislation and protest the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that occurred exactly one month ago.
At 10 am local time, students have been engaging in 17 minutes of protest to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. The schools represented are diverse — from elementary schools to colleges, in urban, suburban, and rural areas — but they stand unified in message and mission.
In Alexandria, Virginia, two 11-year-olds organized a walkout with more than 60 of their peers, going so far as to put together a homemade press packet for the reporters covering their protest.
Covering a walkout this morning at an elementary school in Virginia, and the 11-year-old organizers had a press packet ready for me. pic.twitter.com/eeElhGciid— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
This particular walkout lasted 18, rather than 17, minutes to honor 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington, who was killed at a school in Burlington, Alabama, earlier this month. One of the organizers told the Guardian reporter covering the event that when African-American women are killed, “their names aren’t remember[ed], so I thought it was important to add.”
The walkout at Naomi and Carter’s school will last 18 minutes, with an extra minute added for Courtlin Arrington, who was shot at a school in Alabama. When African-American women are killed “their names aren’t remember, so I thought it was important to add,” Naomi said. pic.twitter.com/xbrejOkYIx— Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) March 14, 2018
In New York City, more than 1,000 students at LaGuardia High School took to the streets.
And at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, a student snapped photos of the scene.
Some schools found creative ways to get their message across. At Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach, Florida, students carried out desks to represent each of the Parkland victims.
A desk for each of #ParklandSchoolShooting victim is carried out to Suncoast courtyard. ‘We are not safe in our schools. we are not safe in our city ... we want Congress to take note ... we will vote...’ pic.twitter.com/wlQP5yMW8o— SonjaIsger (@sonjaisger) March 14, 2018
At Binghamton High School in Binghamton, New York, meanwhile, a memorial was created indoors using empty chairs.
At the University of Virginia, up to 4,000 students gathered at the university rotunda, according to the student council president’s estimate. Participants chanted, “We will remember,” after the names of each of the Parkland victims were called out.
The protests spread as far as Germany, where students at Kaiserslautern High School observed a moment of silence.