When I was in middle school, there was a planned walkout in protest over…well, something. I was in sixth grade at the time, so I don’t remember what it was, but I remember a number of students were fired up over it. They were going to storm out of the classroom to show they were upset.
Except, it was really only a vocal few. The rest who walked out? They just wanted an excuse to skip class.
I bring this up only because there is a group of students in D.C. planning a walkout today in support of gun control and I can’t help but wonder how many actually care about the issue and how many just want to get out of their geometry class.
Students in the D.C. area plan to bring their voices to Capitol Hill to send a message about gun control on Thursday morning. Teens have scheduled the protest on the one-year anniversary of a nationwide walkout to protest gun violence, which was prompted by the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Student-led groups “MoCo Students For Change” and “Pathways 2 Power” will lead approximately 21 local schools in a walkout. Starting at 10 a.m. on March 14, students will meet at the White House and march on to Capitol Hill, where student speakers and members of Congress are slated to make speeches about gun violence reduction and legislation.
While MoCo Students For Change is a conglomerate of Maryland students that started individual organizations focused on mass shootings and gun violence in schools, Pathways 2 Power was founded by Thurgood Marshall Academy students after the fatal shootings of two peers, and looks specifically at the impact of everyday violence in their community.
Dani Miller, student organizer and president of MoCo Students For Change, tells DCist that this year’s walkout will have a different tone than last year’s. Rather than conveying a heightened sense of anger at legislators, this protest is targeting specific bills that strengthened background checks for those attempting to purchase firearms.
“We’re not going to stop,” Miller says. “This is a movement, not a moment. We have specific demands and we won’t stop until these demands are met.”
Plus, Miller says that this year, schools are offering more help by providing some bussing for teens.
Note that last line for a minute.
Now, will someone please tell me what the everloving hell the schools are doing? This is the same crap they did last year during the student walkouts. They’re providing tacit support to a political position, one they don’t provide to the opposing side from what we can see.
That’s what really bothers me about these walkouts. They’re not students rising up to have their voices heard. They’re school field trips masquerading at student activism.
What’s worse is that the students organizing these things don’t even seem to realize what’s going on.
To make matters worse, at least for them, is that we know a number of their peers will only be participating because they just don’t want to sit in class. They just want to get outside and move around. They don’t care about the issue from either side. They’re just looking to slack off.
It’s why a lot of my peers did it, and they did it in spite of school officials, not with their support. It actually meant something then.
Now, it’s just a school project.