Always remember


Karson Madole

Picture from the last walkout. The April 20 walkout will proceed similar to the one on March 14

Ari Forcelle

On April 20, 1999 many lives were changed, and the school environment would never be the same. Friday, April 20 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting that took place at the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. On that dreadful day, thirteen people had lost their lives when two teenagers took fire on the school.

The Columbine Shooting used to be the largest school shooting in the country. The event had created a wave throughout the country that can still be felt today. Students and community members alike have been coming together since this event with the hopes to create a change.

In 2018 alone, the U.S. has had over 18 school shootings. That means from the start of the year, 18 different schools have been attacked by gun fire. Last year, there were 65 school shootings. Students across the nation have noticed this rippling effect, and they are beginning to band together to make a change. Sophomore Lane Murdock at Richfield High School in Connecticut, along with her three friends, organized a national walkout – covered by ABC News. The goal is to not let the number of shootings get as high as last year and to end gun violence in schools all around.

The next national walkout is set for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine Shooting. It begins at 10 a.m. for each time zone across the nation. The format of this walkout is up to each individual school, if they so choose to take part in the protest. However, the first 13 seconds the students step foot outside is being asked to be dedicated to those who lost their lives at Columbine High School. Students are asking for just 13 seconds of silence. Afterwards the walkout is supposed to continue throughout the rest of the day.

Some people are wondering how this walkout differs from the one that took place on March 14 of 2018 and there is one major, key difference. The walkout in March was dedicated solely to those 17 students and teachers that lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The protest set this April is driven towards gun violence within our nation’s educational system. The group of friends and people around the nation’s hope the protest will bump stock bans and help to run universal background checks. Murdock said, “This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes.” This is why the walkout is supposed to continue for the whole day.

Murdock is very active within the organization and is prompting students to stand up for what they believe in. Murdock also said, “As a student who can’t vote, you don’t have a lot of power. But what you have that’s powerful is your voice, your thoughts, but also your attendance. And leaving for longer than 17 minutes, leaving and breaking up that schedule that all American students have every day is how you get people to pay attention.” This is one possible way to get authorities attention, although each student must understand the consequences associated with walking out for the day.

Another point the students want to make is the date, 4/20. Many people know this date is the international day for cannabis related protests and events, however, it should be known that the walkout is only connected to the anniversary of columbine.

For students at the Owatonna High School, protesting is one’s right. However, consequences will play out just the same as the last walkout.