Florida School Shooting Inspires Nationwide Organized Walkouts

On Feb. 14, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people inside Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was the the fifth deadliest shooting of 2018 and the third deadliest school shooting in history behind only Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.

As a result of the shooting, the political movement for more gun control and gun safety in the United States is once again letting its voice be heard on social media. And based on Twitter interactions in the days that followed the Parkland Shooting, there will be more action than just tweets this time around.

A pair of nationwide organized walkouts have already begun planning for the coming months.

The first is scheduled for March 14, one full month since the Parkland Shooting, and is being organized by the Women's March organizers. The plan is for students and teachers to stand up and walk out of their schools at 10 a.m. during that school day and remain outside for 17 minutes, one minute for each person that was killed by Cruz on Wednesday.

"We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns," the organizers wrote on the Facebook event page. "Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence."

"We need action," the organizers wrote. "Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship."

The second walkout is scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine.

That walkout intends to be larger. Over 22,000 people have already signed the petition according to USA TODAY, as teachers and students will once again walkout and remain in protest for the rest of the day.


"On Friday, April 20th we want students to attend school and then promptly WALK-OUT at 10:00 am," the organizers wrote on Twitter. "Sit outside your schools and peacefully protest. Make some noise. Voice your thoughts. "We are students, we are victims, we are change."

"Thoughts and prayers are not enough," Women's March executive adviser Kim Russell said. "The school shootings just keep happening and happening. There's no escaping it. Congress need to hear from us."