Over 2,500 protests have been planned nationwide in association with Wednesday's National School Walkout, which in part will honor the lives lost during the Parkland, Fla., shooting.
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A movement that started with one Facebook event post has evolved into a nationwide call for students to walkout of class at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The #ENOUGH! National School Walkout will honor the lives of the 17 people killed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and to “to protest Congress’ refusal to take action on the gun violence epidemic plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,” according to the EMPOWER website.
Enough is enough!— Women's March (@womensmarch) February 16, 2018
Women's March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am on March 14, 2018. Join us in saying #ENOUGH!https://t.co/8ZE8uthRlZ pic.twitter.com/45yCZl4zDm
Here’s seven things to know about the protests.
1. There are six area high schools that have organized walkouts on the website — Woodward, Whitmer, Bowling Green, Delta, Ada, and Defiance. Toledo Public Schools has said its schools will host age-appropriate activities, and that students who choose to participate in the walkout will be directed to a designated area outside of the school with an administrator. An event for elementary school students and parents is being organized in Milan, Mich., and The Ohio State University in Columbus will participate as well.
2. The walkout will last 17 minutes, one minute for each person who died in the Stoneman Douglas shooting. According to EMPOWER, what each group decides to do during those 17 minutes is up to the individuals, but it suggests singing songs, holding hands around the school, or reciting the names of people killed in gun violence.
3. The EMPOWER website has set up a tool kit for those interested in organizing their own walkout. Included are steps on how to organize the walkout, a letter to send to the school’s administration, and student’s rights.
4. Due to safety concerns, organizers have asked anyone not affiliated with a school to stay away from the walkouts. In order to show support, they suggest wearing orange or walking out of their workplace for 17 minutes.
5. Some schools across the country have forbidden students from participating in the walkout, citing safety concerns and disruptions in the learning process during school. They are instead asking students to use other displays of protest, such as tying ribbons on fence posts or observing moments of silence.
6. EMPOWER, the group behind the National School Walkout, also organized the national Women’s March.
7. There are two other student protests planned in the coming months. On March 24, the #March4OurLives is a national action organized by the Parkland survivors in Washington D.C. And on April 20, another school walkout will commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
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