A day already painful for gun control activists became even more so Friday when the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre coincided with a shooting at a high school in Florida. One student at Ocala's Forest High School suffered a non-life-threatening injury; the suspected shooter, identified as a male who is not a student at the school, was in custody, the Ocala Star Banner reports. It's a scenario students across the country are already rallying against in coordinated walkouts Friday. More:
- Origins: NPR reports Connecticut teenager Lane Murdock came up with the idea for the walkout upon learning of the deaths in Parkland, Fla. "I thought, originally, it would just be my school but, obviously, it's grown," the 16-year-old tells CNN. Students at more than 2,700 schools across the US were taking part, and it all grew out of this petition.
- A test: The National School Walkout "will be a test for the staying power of this new wave of activism," per Vox. Student leaders vow they won't let fading headlines stop the movement. The AP has details from the day's walkouts in Atlanta, New York City, and elsewhere.
- The goals: Unlike school walkouts earlier this year, this one is to last a full day, per the New York Times. One common theme: 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 killed at Columbine. The walkout's stated aims are to "hold elected officials accountable," to advocate "solutions to gun violence," and to promote political engagement.
- Celebrity help: The Washington Post reports Robert DeNiro has penned a letter for students who need help getting out of class. "By bringing awareness of the tragic consequences of gun violence, and influencing our leaders to pass sensible gun laws, our communities and schools will become safer," it reads.
- Teacher remembers: At NPR, longtime Columbine teacher Paula Reed discusses the 1999 massacre, as well as this year's school shooting in Parkland. "I came completely freakin' unhinged," she says of the Florida rampage. "It was too close to ours."
- 'Enough': Meanwhile, the editorial board of the San Diego Union-Tribune has arranged the names of people killed on school campuses in the US in the last 20 years to spell "Enough." "Please take the time to read these 223 names. Be sad. Be outraged," it says.
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