Alice Mungyu ’19,
Students will rally in Washington and in communities across the country to call for action against gun control on March 24.
Following the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people, students from the high school organized March for Our Lives in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety.
March for Our Lives aims to fight back against the gun lobby in support of a comprehensive bill to address school shootings.
Its mission statement reads, “March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.”
Cameron Kasky, Stoneman Douglas high school junior and shooting survivor wrote in an op-ed for CNN:
“We can't ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I'm asking — no, demanding — we take action now. Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience — our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools. But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.”
According to an event permit application, organizers of a rally planned for next month in Washington are expecting up to 500,000 attendees.
The movement will take place in many more of the streets in America to end the epidemic of mass shootings. Administrators at some high schools have voiced their concerns, threatening to take disciplinary action against students who participate that could end up on their transcripts.
However, admissions officers at colleges including UMass Amherst, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Smith College state that they will not penalize high school students for participating in walkouts in the wake of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Smith College Dean of Admission, Deb Shaver, tweeted, “To students worried about disciplinary action for getting suspended for standing up for your beliefs: we’ve got you on this side. #Smith2022 #ParklandStudentsSpeak.”
Audrey Smith, Smith College vice president for enrollment said civic engagement and peaceful dissent are qualities administrators at Smith hope to foster in their students.
“Peaceful protest is something that our students do before they arrive at Smith, it’s something that they do while they’re at Smith, and it’s something that they do after Smith,” she said. “We think it’s a good thing for students to be engaged in social change.”
Big donations from Oprah Winfrey, Spielberg, Clooneys, Katzenbergs, and most recently Gucci show support for the movement.
“We stand with March for Our Lives and the fearless students across the country who demand that their lives and safety become a priority,” a statement given by the company.
The central march plans to meet at the nation's capital. There will also be a march in Boston. This will begin at noon on Mar. 24 and run until 5 p.m at the Boston Common.