Despite what you may have thought when you woke up this morning, today is not just a regular Wednesday. In fact, it marks an extremely important date in history. Not only does today mark exactly one month since the Parkland school shooting in Florida, but it will forever represent the day students and teachers around the nation walked out of their schools for gun legislation, hoping to prevent what happened on Feb. 14, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School from happening again. So if you want to see the action up close, here's how to follow student walkouts on Snapchat — because what they're doing is honestly incredible.
Maybe you aren't a teacher or a student... or maybe, there's a chance that you haven't had any time to keep up with the news. Luckily, you don't have to turn on the TV in order to witness the walkouts. Snapchat currently has a feature that's allowing users to follow the student walkouts live — and TBH, I'm so impressed with the app right now.
If you want to keep up with the walkouts on Snapchat, first open the Snapchat app. Then, open your camera. Once you're on the app's camera screen, use two fingers to pinch inward — and that should bring you to the Snap Map. Once you're on the Snap Map, you'll see various bubbles with Snapchat Story highlights labeled with different school walkouts. Each bubble will include the name of each high school, and you'll be able to view all of the Snaps from the students participating. Make it a point to check them out.
The students shown on Snap Map are collectively participating in the #Enough National School Walkout. Not only are they honoring those lost in the Parkland school shooting, but they're also demanding that Congress takes action on gun control. The organizers of the walkout, Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, lists a series of demands for Congress on their website. Some of the demands include expanding background checks for those purchasing guns, and passing gun violence restraining order laws. They also want Congress to ban people from owning assault weapons, as well as high capacity magazines. The Parkland shooter used an AR-15 rifle, for example, which is categorized as an assault weapon.
Each #Enough National School Walkout lasts 17 minutes, and there's an important reason why. Each minute actually represents one of the 17 lives that were lost in the Parkland school shooting. The shooting resulted in the death of 14 students and three staff members.
If you haven't yet caught a glimpse of the National Student Walkout posters, they're very inspirational. Some of them pay tribute to the students that lost their lives, while others express anti-gun messages. Some even support the #WalkUpNotOut movement, which focuses on reaching out to other students that appear to be lonely. Additionally, many students are wearing orange to represent a gun-free future, which is supported by an organization called We Are Orange.
Also make sure to keep up with the photos from the National Student Walkouts. The pictures from each protest around the country are so moving, and they're definitely worth looking at. Over 1,000 protests were scheduled to happen on Wednesday, March 14, and they took place in both big cities and small towns throughout the country. Photos from demonstrations in New York City even show participation from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and it truly gave me chills.
Definitely keep up with the National Student Walkouts, because they're super important and incredibly emotional. Every one of these students and teachers are beyond brave — and I am so, so proud of each and every one of them.