On Wednesday, March 14, thousands of students, teachers, and allies across the country plan to participate in a school walkout.
Why the walkout?
Taking place one month to the day after the Parkland shooting, the walkout is both a memorial to those killed and a protest, calling on lawmakers to pass stricter gun control laws.
The organizers’ demands include banning assault weapons, requiring universal background checks for gun sales, and a restraining order law that would allow courts to take guns from individuals who demonstrate warning signs of violent behavior.
Called the #Enough Walkout, the event has been organized by EMPOWER, the youth branch of the Women’s March.
The walkout is due to begin at 10 a.m. local time on Wednesday and last exactly 17 minutes. The number of minutes is to honor the 17 students and teachers who were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month.
The organizers are asking protesters and those unable to join a walkout to wear orange in solidarity. They have asked that those not affiliated with a school not to protest with the students in the interest of their safety.
Although nearly 3,000 schools plan to participate, not all of them will be using a walkout as their avenue of protest. Some schools will hold a memorial service, register students of voting age, or call their lawmakers to pressure them to address gun violence. Meanwhile, other schools have threatened disciplinary action for students who walk out.
Participating schools stretch across the U.S. and as far as Australia and Germany. Some students in the Washington, D.C., area plan to walk from the White House to the U.S. Capitol. To find out if a school in your area is participating, search the Women’s March website.
Media giant Viacom has announced that its networks, including MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, will suspend their programming for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. local time in support of the students. Students will also take over MTV’s social media accounts during that time.
For those not affiliated with a school, there is another protest planned following the walkout. Called “March For Our Lives,” the march will be held in Washington, D.C. on March 24, with satellite events taking place across the country and internationally.
There will also be another school walkout on April 20, to mark the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
This story has been updated with Viacom’s plans for the walkout and the walkout’s international reach.