On April 20th, the National School Walkout happened.
Thousands of students walked out from more than 2500 schools across the country. There was at least one walkout planned in every state, as well as several globally. The walkout is to protest government inaction in regards to gun reform, engage youth politically and to recognize those who have lost their lives in school shootings.
The National School Walkout was originally organized by Lane Murdock ‘20, a student at Ridgefield High School in Connecticut and 3 others. Around 50 students walked out of South at 10 a.m. and marched to the capitol. At the Capitol they joined students from other Salem-Keizer Schools including Sprague and North.
The students stood on the steps at the front of the Capitol. The students began to chant “Hey, hey, ho, ho the NRA has got to go”, “No more silence, end gun violence”, and “Our blood, your hands”.
Speeches began at 10:50 a.m. Three South students, Allison Hmura ‘20, John Caudillo ‘18 and Melvin Bolsinger ‘20 spoke. “School safety should not be regarded as a political issue. There cannot be two sides to our safety where we should be learning, growing and making new friends- not learning to duck and cover and living in fear,” said Allison Hmura, one of the organizers of South’s walkout, during her speech.
This walkout was on the anniversary of the Columbine School Shooting. This school shooting happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered Columbine planning to bomb the school. Their bombs did not detonate so instead they shot 33 people, killing 13 of them. This shooting was the first major school shooting in America. It is one of the worst mass shootings in America and one of the deadliest school shootings. The Columbine Shooting caused many schools across America to pass “zero-tolerance” rules regarding threats of violence.
It is the precursor of the now seemingly common phenomenon of school shootings. The Columbine Shooters inspired many others. However, because they chronicled their thoughts in great detail we now know more about how to identify potential shooters and how to limit the damage now that the shooting starts.