In the Works: School Protests to Take On 'American Carnage'

One is set for the anniversary of the mass shooting at Columbine
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2018 9:30 AM CST
In the Works: School Protests to Take On 'American Carnage'
A young woman cries during a protest against guns on the steps of the Broward County federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

The mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead has sparked calls for walkouts, sit-ins, and other actions on school campuses across the US aimed at pushing lawmakers to pass tougher gun laws. Organizers behind the Women's March are calling for a 17-minute walkout on March 14 to "protest Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods," the AP reports. Meanwhile, the Network for Public Education, an advocacy group for public schools, announced a "national day of action" on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. The organization is encouraging teachers and students to organize sit-ins, walkouts, marches, and any other events to protest gun violence in schools.

"The politicians sit on their hands as our children and their teachers are murdered in their schools," the group's president and executive director said in a post online. The protest plans circulated widely on social media on Saturday, signaling that the outcry for new gun legislation may not fade away as it has after other recent mass shootings. Teen survivors of Wednesday's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become advocates for gun control, sparring with gun rights activists on social media and calling for safer gun laws at vigils and in TV interviews. Some people in online posts are even calling for a Civil Rights-era style boycott of schools until gun laws are changed. Clare Schexnyder, a mom from Decatur, Ga., is planning a protest in her area for March 14. "President Trump talked about the American carnage in the United States. This is the American carnage," she says.

(Read more Parkland school shooting stories.)

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