What to Know
- The event came just over two months since 17 students and staff were killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th.
- Friday is also the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, when 13 people were killed in the suburban Colorado school.
Students, faculty and staff at South Florida schools took part in a national student walkout Friday morning, the latest effort to protest what organizers are calling a failure to protect schools from gun violence in the wake of the Parkland shooting tragedy.
The organized event was scheduled just over two months after 17 students and staff were killed inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th – and on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting, when 13 people were killed in the suburban Colorado school.
Shortly after 7 a.m., a group of teachers from the Broward County school stood outside with signs and chanted their calls for change.
About 50 students walked out of Stoneman Douglas after administrators threatened protesters with unexcused absences.
"People say that walking out is a nuisance and it doesn't do anything and it actually disrupts the educational process and to them I say the real disruption is code red drills and being shot at in school," Stoneman Douglas student Alex Wind said.
The walkouts began with a one minute moment of silence for all victims of gun violence with an additional 13 seconds for the victims of Columbine. Participants were told to wear orange.
Organizers, including members of the MSD community who survived the shooting by suspected gunman and former student Nikolas Cruz, say the walkout hopes to send a message that gun violence will not be tolerated, while also holding voter registration drives in an effort to get younger people to the polls this election cycle.