On Wednesday, February 28, a group of students and teachers from different local schools gathered at the Champaign Public Library with representatives from Moms Demand Action to discuss the proposed school walkouts for gun control laws on March 14 and April 20, along with a march on March 24.
School walkouts are currently being done in high schools across the US. Their objective is to protest the United States’ current stance on guns and to advocate for stricter gun control laws. The walkout planned on March 14 is the one month anniversary of the shooting at Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the walkout will be 17 minutes long starting at 10 a.m. to represent the 17 lives lost in the tragedy. April 20 is the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. The walkout on April 20 will be an all day event, also starting at 10 a.m.
The C-U schools represented included Uni, Centennial, Central and the U of I. A general consensus was met, establishing that the 17-minute walkout on March 14 would be organized by each individual school, while the April 20 walkout would be a inter-school event with a focus on education on gun control. The students agreed to wait to plan the walkout on April 20. The plans for the day would depend on the school administrators’ reactions to their first walkout on March 14.
There was a reminder to students from the Moms Demand Action group to research and learn our rights and how to stay safe during the walkouts and marches. According to their website, Moms Demand Action is a five-year-old organization campaigning for stricter gun laws, with chapters across the USA. Recently, Moms Demand Action also formed a sub-group for high school and university students called Students Demand Action, which is playing a part in the organization of the march on March 24.
The march on March 24, while student organized and led, is a community event and all can participate.
Media will likely be present at many of the events.
There were nine Uni students present at the meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 5 at 5:15 p.m. in 147 Armory on campus.