On Friday, April 20, high-school students across the country—with the support of many teachers, parents, and community allies—plan to walk out of classes and participate in a protest against gun violence. The student-organized Texas Capitol Walkout for Gun Safety is among them. According to the National School Walkout website, the event is being held to protest “congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence.” The Texas Capitol Walkout site adds that Friday’s event is a “walkout, march, and rally, designed to bring together students, school teachers and staff, parents, and the general public, in support of gun law reform.”
Organizers of the Capitol Walkout have, impressively, organized busses to transport students from many local schools to Downtown’s Wooldrige Park, where they and other protesters will start gathering at noon. At 12:30 p.m., a march to the state Capitol will begin, culminating in protest rally from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (see route and map below).
Some good things to know about the event:
- Parents, school administration, and community supporters are encouraged to “let the youth lead” on the walk in support of the student-led protesters.
- College and university students are encouraged to participate, but the current organizers have focused on high-school students due to time constraints and to keep the focus on their movement.
- In Austin, schools have been made aware of the walkout plan, and every school has a student representative working with administrators.
- All local schools are aware of exact plans and, while they are not endorsing the walkout, have worked extensively to provide safety and order on campus during the event.
- All busses taking students from schools to the march will have at least one adult chaperone aboard. Parents are invited to take the busses with their kids and chaperone as well.
- The Austin Police Department will provide security, and roads will be blocked off.
- Plans vary nationally, but students at many schools will gather at a predetermined spot near the campus at 10 a.m. local time. The national site suggests 13 minutes of silence at that time to honor and remember the victims of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado. (While organizers coordinated the action to take place on the anniversary of those shootings in honor of victims, Columbine High School leaders are “respectfully pushing back and advocating for their own traditions,” according to a Denver, Colo., NBC affiliate. Columbine has made the April 20 anniversary a day of service rather than protest.)
You can find more information at the Texas Capitol Walkout and National School Walkout sites.
Below is a map and local street-closure information about Friday’s event, via the Downtown Austin Alliance website.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20
Texas Capitol Walkout
11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Between Guadalupe and Congress
Rolling closure managed by APD
Between 9th Street and 11th Street
Rolling closure managed by APD
• Columbine High School says April 20 is a day for service, not walkouts [9News]