The New Britain school district has announced that there will be an “organized walkout” to oppose school violence on March 14, 2018. The walk out will include New Britain High School and the NBHS Satellite Careers Academy.
The event is occurring the same day as the March 14th National School Walkout being organized by the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER organization in support of stronger gun control laws, though the New Britain school district says that the NBHS walk out is, “not affiliated with any political viewpoints concerning gun safety, and instead will allow students’ voices to be heard as they stand with staff and community members to say school violence needs to end and school safety needs to be a priority.”
The NBHS walk out will begin at 11:00am, when students will read submitted writing expressing their views on school violence and school safety in a program that will be broadcast into all school classrooms.
At 11:15 am students choosing to walk out will march, carrying a “Love Wins” banner and following the NBHS Golden Hurricanes Marching Band, down Mill Street from the high school, then down South Main Street and, finally, up Daniel Bugnacki Way, back to the high school.
“This a perfect opportunity for us to teach our students how to engage in appropriate civil discourse and actively participate as citizens,” said Kerri-Lynn Major, Associate Principal. “I’m proud our students want their voices to be heard and am confident they will do it in an appropriate way.”
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER says that school walk outs it is organizing across the country are on March 14th, because it, “is the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.” As of March 11th, the organization said that 2,545 walk outs have been organized.
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER is saying that the walk out campaign it is organizing is to address gun violence that has affected all people, including, “systemic forms of gun violence,” that disproportionately affect young people in communities of color.
The National School Walkout is being organized by Women’s March Youth EMPOWER under the banner hashtag #ENOUGH, with demands for specific federal legislation to be approved by Congress, including,
- Banning Assault Weapons & High Capacity Magazines, Senate bill 2095.
- Expanding Background Checks to All Gun Sales, Senate bill 2009.
- Gun Violence Restraining Order Law, House Resolution 2598 and Senate bill 1212.
- Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act, Senate bill 1856 and House Resolution 1556.
Women’s March Youth EMPOWER’s demands also include opposing other policies, including,
- Conceal Carry Reciprocity, House Resolution 38 and Senate bill 446. The group says this legislation would, “would force each state to honor the concealed carry laws of all others,” which it says, “would set back states with some of the safest gun laws like New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island – which also happen to be the six states with the least amount of gun-related deaths.”
- “Any legislation that would aim to fortify our schools with more guns,” including policies under which teachers would be armed with guns.
Answering the question, of its national organizing campaign, “is this being led by students,” Women’s March Youth EMPOWER says, “Yes! The ENOUGH National School Walkout is an initiative organized by Women’s March Youth Empower. We believe, as youth, it is imperative we have spaces where our voices are being heard. We don’t need adults speaking on our behalf.”