By Mike Staley – The Collegiate Staff
Over the last month, the nation has been divided on the controversial topic of guns and gun violence.
On the heels of the tragedy in Florida last month, students all across the country are wanting their voice to be heard and that voice is saying #Enough.
Thousands of students nationwide are expected to take part in a national walkout from their local schools on Wed., March 14, at 10 a.m in every time zone.
The walkout will last for 17 minutes. The date and amount of time are significant. The date is the one month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The 17 minutes is to recognize the 17 people who lost their lives.
This event was organized just one week after the shooting following the national outcry for President Trump and other government officials to tighten the gun laws in the United States.
Over 20 schools in West Michigan plan to participate in the walkout that is being organized by Women’s March Youth Empower.
The Grand Rapids Public Schools District will be participating in the walkout. Not all schools are participating in the walkout however and some schools are going as far as punishing students who decide to partake in the events. A list of the schools participating in the walkout has been posted by the organizer. Click here to see the schools in your area.
Students at Grand Rapids Community College are allowed to participate in the walkout and the administration will ensure the safety of the students. Faculty are being told to not prohibit students from participating in the walkout, but are allowed to hold students accountable for missed material if they see fit.
One conflict with the date is that some schools will be on spring break during the walk out. Because of this, there has been an alternate date set for those students on Wed., April 25. Students are encouraged to participate in both walkouts if they choose to do so.
The walkout is a preview for the nationwide “March For Our Lives” event that will be taking place Sat., March 24. Students from Parkland, Florida have chosen this date to march on Washington and many communities are following suit and hosting their own marches. This event is to protest gun violence in schools and communities nationwide.
“March For Our Lives” wants citizens safety to become a priority and demands the government take action instead of just sending “thoughts and prayers.” The event will take place locally at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids at noon on Sat., March 24.