On March 14, 2018, thousands of high school students across the U.S. walked out of their classrooms to protest against gun violence in the country. From New Jersey to California, students participated in the 17-minute walkout, carrying placards and chanting “enough” as they signaled their discontent with the country’s current gun laws and honored the 17 students killed in the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“It’s a really important topic for students all over America, especially for those affected by it,” said Nina Gerzema, a ninth grade student who took part in the walkout with her classmates at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York. The students marched to Washington Square Park where they lined up against the road. “Cars were honking at us; no one was sure if it was good honking or not.”
“It felt like being a part of something that had been going on for a long time; it felt like carrying on an issue affecting a lot of Americans today,” she added.
The students’ rallying cry for new gun control laws come on the heels of new findings from the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll, which show that 61% of voters support banning AR-15 rifles, the same weapon used by the gunman at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And a 2015 Harris poll also found that over seven in ten Americans (73%) favor restrictions on firearms sales/ownership.
“I hope eventually there will be no more guns at all, especially around students,” Gerzema said. “And there will be no more disruptions to a young generation that is already being exposed to a more harsh world.”
Multitudes of students are also expected to congregate at Washington D.C. on March 24 for a March for Our Lives protest and another national school walkout is scheduled for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.