Thousands of students across the country have plans to stage a walkout Wednesday as part of a nationwide event.
The walkouts are both a protest and memorial to honor the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month. Since the school shooting, teens have turned to activism to combat gun violence.
Why are they walking out?
Students participating in the walkouts are pushing for stricter gun laws. They're calling for Congress to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, expand background checks on all gun sales, pass a law to remove guns from those with restraining orders against them, and stop the militarization of law enforcement.
According to Empower, the organizer of the school walkouts and the Women's March, participants oppose the conceal carry reciprocity law, which would force states to honor the concealed carry laws of other states. They also oppose legislation to arm teachers within public schools.
When is the walkout?
Students will walk out of their schools nationwide at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The walkout is supposed to last 17 minutes, one minute for each of the lives lost in Parkland one month ago.
Who is walking out?
More than 2,800 walkouts are planned, according to Empower.
Locally, participating schools listed on Empower's site include:
- Rocky River
- John Marshall
- Citizens Leadership Academy
- Olmsted Falls
- Berea Midpark
- Garfield Heights
- Cleveland Central Catholic
- Firestone CLC
- St. Joseph's
- Green Inspiration Academy
- Northeast Ohio Medical University
- Willoughby South
- Cuyahoga Falls
Citizens Leadership Academy students will walk out for 24 minutes instead of 17, adding an extra seven minutes for the seven children and teens who are killed on average each day.
Oberlin College students will also participate in the walk out. Some 200 students are expected to gather in Tappan Square. Students from the University of Akron and Kent State University are participating as well.
Are there more events?
Yes. The #March4OurLives is scheduled for March 24. This event is organized by survivors of the Parkland school shooting and will take place in Washington, D.C.
There's also a walkout scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting.
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