Students across the nation are fed up with the status quo, and they are making sure they're seen and heard! On Wednesday, thousands of students walked out of their schools to advocate for stricter gun control laws. The walkout was poignant, and lasted 17 minutes; one minute for each victim killed during the tragic Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
The #NationalWalkoutDay turnout was monumental as students, onlookers and media alike shared images on the internet that will go down in history. This picture of a sign that claps back at the dichotomy between gun rights and (black) human rights is sure to be one of them :
Student sign says: As a black boy, I hope one I day I have as many rights as a gun. #nationalschoolwalkout pic.twitter.com/PuIXpy5yo1— Brett Murphy (@ladybrettgm) March 14, 2018
These California students decided to get creative by spelling out "Enough" on the football field. Message received!
WATCH: California students spell out #Enough during protest against gun violence#NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/YQUGcqdhQs— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 14, 2018
This impassioned student dropped gems in a speech during one of the walkout protests, and he definitely has a knack for effective oration! Touching on the "ideal world" where the Marjory Stoneman High School victims' biggest worry would be an upcoming test really hit us in the gut.
"In an ideal world, the 20 first graders and kindergartners who died at Sandy Hook would be in middle school... The 17 victims from Stoneman Douglas would probably be eating lunch right now," student says at #NationalWalkoutDay rally https://t.co/9UbJD8FATr pic.twitter.com/77EQYqxmkw— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2018
In that same vein, students held up signs stating the obvious: that most of their worries or concerns should be about exams, college applications or study material ... not whether or not they'll die in their classrooms today:
The kids are right. #Enough #NationalWalkoutDay [ 📷 via @womensmarch ] pic.twitter.com/oeAJR3Y37Z— Sally Kohn (@sallykohn) March 14, 2018
One group of students in New York traveled to Trump Tower to directly address the NRA with a "Hey Hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today?" chant:
Students chant "Hey hey, NRA, how many kids did you kill today?" outside Trump Hotel NYC #NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/h8vVEeq1y7— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 14, 2018
Speaking of the NRA, here's an apt, alternate version of that acronym:
These students from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in MD did *not* get permission to come out here, did it anyway. #NationalSchoolWalkout pic.twitter.com/FFeK7q2HBy— Nathalie Baptiste (@nhbaptiste) March 14, 2018
The students may be missing school for a few minutes, but this sign captures, perfectly, the bigger picture:
Thank you @RPEMS233 and @BaltCitySchools for supporting today’s #nationalschoolwalkout #enough pic.twitter.com/AkXI5jBK1x— Robyn (@rstevensbrody) March 14, 2018
In what was one of the most visceral images of the day, a group of young kids, who didn't look much older than kindergarten or 1st grade age, joined the protest with signs reading "Keep us safe in school."
This photo is everything.#NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/rWX1CfT1Ht— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 14, 2018
Another student made it plain by stating "The adults have failed us." Word.
Student speaks in front of the U.S. Capitol on #NationalWalkoutDay: “Their right to own an assault rifle does not outweigh our right to live. The adults have failed us. This is in our hands now, and if any elected official gets in our way, we will vote them out.” pic.twitter.com/VEdAcLnuOI— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 14, 2018
16-year-old Justin Blackman posted a video on Twitter, showing the strength of one voice speaking out is still mighty, and was quickly praised for his courage by the woke:
Wow I’m literally the only one #NationalSchoolWalkout pic.twitter.com/2F95qY2vTI— Justin Blackman (@JustinIBlackman) March 14, 2018
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy ." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/sBtJ0II6YG— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 14, 2018
These Atlanta students, who were reportedly told they were not allowed to walk out, took a knee in their school hallway in a meaningful ode to activism:
BREAKING PHOTO: Students at an Atlanta high school banned from participating in the #NationalWalkoutDay demonstrations take a knee in their school hallway. pic.twitter.com/kynqnTeBub— The Anon Journal (@TheAnonJournal) March 14, 2018
And that moment when "bear arms" meant something much more loving and positive:
“Arms Are For Hugging”- hands down my favorite sign. Met these juniors from Churchill High School of Potomac, MD heading down for #NationalWalkOutDay asking for gun reform & #EndGunViolence. Children are not prey! pic.twitter.com/cMF1xoYXCt— Marselha G. Margerin (@marselhagm) March 14, 2018
Many "Am I Next?" signs popped up around the country as well:
Atlanta 8th grader made this sign for #NationalSchoolWalkout that starts in 5 min pic.twitter.com/q7Qs6bQ0OT— Steve Gehlbach (@SteveGWSB) March 14, 2018
Another sign read "I wanna make it to graduation." Wow.
“I wanna make it to graduation,” one student’s sign reads. #NationalSchoolWalkout #nyc pic.twitter.com/XuPurLwdLr— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) March 14, 2018
In a true show of solidarity, the students of Columbine High School also participated in the national walkout:
Among the hundreds of schools taking part in #NationalWalkoutDay, the demonstration hits home for Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students opened fire in April 1999, killing 12 of their fellow students and a teacher. https://t.co/s0oJYB9f2l pic.twitter.com/dL9IceX8dH— ABC News (@ABC) March 14, 2018
Oh, and best believe these students are going to use their voices in the voting booth, too.
A student named Alex has brought this sign to the #NationalSchoolWalkout in DC pic.twitter.com/Et630jrJQ8— Kayla Epstein 📰 (@KaylaEpstein) March 14, 2018
And finally, one group of students reminded each other that by standing together "we gon' be alright:"
“We gon’ be alright” — Kendrick’s song as students stream out of Oakland Tech. #NationalWalkoutDay California pic.twitter.com/vdR5Glx6HE— Otis R. Taylor Jr. (@otisrtaylorjr) March 14, 2018