Because 'Nothing Has Changed Since Columbine,' Students, Teachers Call for Nationwide School Walkouts
September 21, 2020 | News | No Comments
As families continue to grieve and hold funerals for the 17 victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Fla., students and educators are calling for a nationwide day of action including school walkouts to protest lawmakers’ deadly inaction on gun control legislation.
The day set for the actions is April 20, which will be the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School.
The Twitter account National School Walkout, which was started Friday, declares, “We are the students, we are the victims, we are change.”
The April 20 walkout, it says, will be “a polite, passionate, plea for peace.”
A Change.org petition, which has gathered over 6,100 signatures as of this writing, and is linked to the Twitter account, says, “There has been too much complacency on the part of politicians when it comes to gun violence. The time to act is now!”
“The violence of guns is being performed in our schools and our communities. Not the Senate floor. As the future of America, it is time for teenagers to speak their minds and put their frustration into action,” it adds. It also encourages people to sign on to take part in the action, saying, “Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now.”
The students’ call-to-action comes days after David Berliner, an educational psychologist and Regents’ Professor of Education Emeritus at Arizona State University, issued a call for a national teachers’ strike if lawmakers continue their failure to enact “sane gun laws.”
Berliner’s call, which he sent in a message to education historian Diane Ravitch, states, in part, “Almost all of America’s 3 million teachers—nurturers and guardians of our youth—want sensible gun laws. They deserve that. But they have to be ready to exert the power they have by walking out of their schools if they do not get what they want. They have to exert the reputational power that 3 million of our most admired voters have. Neither the NRA nor their legislative puppets will be able stand up to that.”
He originally said the day should be May 1, May Day, but after being flooded with responses including from the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, he explained to Slate the day got switched to April 20.
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