On the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, students from Parkland, Florida and across the country joined in staging a massive walkout. The “National School Walkout,” the second of its kind in as many months, began on the east coast at 10 am local time, with students at schools in the central, mountain, and Pacific time zones following suit at the 10 o’clock hour. CNN and other national and local news outlets covered the various stages of the mass protest throughout the day, even as the Forest High School community in Ocala, Florida came to grips with its own shooting earlier that morning.
The walkout that had been planned there has since been cancelled following the shooting, which sent one student to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the ankle and resulted in the suspect’s quick arrest. Yet the events in Ocala didn’t stop protesters throughout the rest of the country from staging their respective walkouts. Per CNN, students at more than 2,500 schools throughout the U.S. were planning everything from “moments of silence” to “marching to a local lawmaker’s office, allowing open-mic time for students to share concerns and helping register those who are eligible to vote.”
While many of the nationally famous Parkland students turned activists were a major part of Friday’s efforts, the Washington Post reports that it actually began with 16-year-old Lane Murdock. A student at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, Murdock started an online petition soon after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School back in February.
Two months later, Murdock’s efforts have resulted in demonstrations from Washington D.C. to Indianapolis, with more planned for Los Angeles and other major cities and small towns across America. From thousands of students to small groups of will participants, all of the walkouts made a big splash on TV, social media, and elsewhere.