Thousands of students, emboldened by a growing protest movement over gun violence, stood up in their classrooms on Wednesday and walked out of their schools in a nationwide demonstration, one month after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida.
The 17-minute protests unfolding at hundreds of schools are intended to pressure Congress to approve gun control legislation after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and come 10 days before major protests in Washington and elsewhere.
Here’s what to know:
• The first large wave of students began to leave their classrooms at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Across the country, others are walking out at 10 a.m. in their local time zones.
• The demonstrations were not limited to school property. In New York, students marched in the streets, while in Washington, sign-clutching students gathered outside the White House and on Capitol Hill.
• School administrators have been grappling with how to respond. Some districts welcomed or even tacitly encouraged walkouts, while others threatened disciplinary action against students who participated.
• It is unlikely that officials in Washington will quickly heed the demands of the students. Although Florida last week raised the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21 and extended the waiting period to three days, President Trump on Monday
abandoned his pledge to seek national-level reforms that the National Rifle Association opposed.
• Follow our reporters on the ground on Twitter: Nick Madigan in Parkland, Fla.; Rick Rojas in Newtown, Conn.; Kate Taylor in New York; Mitch Smithin Chicago; Julie Turkewitz in Columbine, Colo.; Sean Keenan in Cobb County, Ga.; and Jenny Medina in Santa Monica, Calif.
Thousands of students around New York and New Jersey, many backed by permission slips from their parents, walked out of their schools and converged on central locations — Columbus Circle, Battery Park, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Lincoln Center.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, stretched out on the sidewalk as part of a “lie-in” with students in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the former home of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, the local union, joined them.
More than a thousand students walked out of the Martin Luther King Jr. campus, which has a number of schools on its premises, behind Lincoln Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Jaha Doyley, 17, said she feared for her own life, and that of her 9-year-old sister. “It wasn’t a hard decision,” Jaha said. “I’m really scared and worried.”
Hundreds of students sat in the middle of West 62nd street for several minutes before the crowd rose to their feet and shouted, “No more violence.” A cry of “Trump Tower!” sent dozens of protesters marching toward the Trump International Hotel and Tower across Broadway. Onlookers gave them fist-bumps.
Uptown, students from the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, a high school of some 1,600 students in East Harlem, streamed onto Pleasant Avenue, holding signs reading “Am I next?” and “How many children have to die?”
They chanted “Enough is enough!” and “Hey, hey, N.R.A., how many kids have you killed today?”
In Washington, students gathered outside the White House and on Capitol Hill, where they were joined by lawmakers including Chuck Schumer of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California, the Senate and House Democratic leaders.
Hours earlier, in London, about 300 students and staff members of the American School walked out and gathered in silence on the school’s sports field.
“We’re very lucky,” said Cameron Lynch, a 17-year-old student who moved to London from Virginia six months ago. “My old school in Virginia sent an email saying that any teachers who would take part in the walkout would be fired.”Source: