Wednesday teemed with youthful revolution as thousands of students across the nation walked out of their classrooms on the one-month anniversary of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, calling for action against gun violence in America. While many appreciate the newly-impassioned activism against NRA-backed lawmakers, one community feels our nation's pain even more acutely.
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/0rkEGWaMPx pic.twitter.com/l3cerSqJNg— Yahya Ali (@Yahyaalireal) March 15, 2018
Though many Americans have grown numb to the cycle of gun violence, the students of Columbine High School continue to earn diplomas in an institution known for being the site of an epochal moment in U.S. school shootings. At Columbine High, the March 14 walkout carried pain older than most of its students. The 1999 massacre at Columbine is widely perceived as the first modern incident of a violent pattern that would characterize America's gun violence epidemic as we know it.
The internet rallied around Columbine students to provide strength in the face of futility.
I’m the Columbine generation. I can’t help but think what would have happened if we all just walked out then. What if instead of active shooter drills we said ‘no school until gun reform?’ How many lives would have been saved? I’m sorry we didn’t walkout. #walkout— Megan Ellyia Green (@MeganEllyia) March 14, 2018
Today we honor all the kids who lost their lives at school.— Jockey Luis (@Jockeyluis) March 14, 2018
Gun laws should’ve changed after the Columbine tragedy shocked the nation...but nothing happened then. So happy to see students standing up & peacefully protesting against gun violence.— Karen Ramsey (@KarramKaren) March 14, 2018
Many felt Columbine was a turning point, but we've been been going the wrong way for nineteen years:
This is what pisses me off the most. Columbine should've been the last.— Shannon Lanier🌸 (@shannoncatlover) March 14, 2018
I was in 11th grade when the Columbine shooting happened in 1999. With a few of my classmates, we organized school-wide a memorial service. I can’t believe how little things have changed since then. Glad to see so many youth taking part in #NationalWalkoutDay. ✊ https://t.co/JAlG8uJApX— Matt Richardson (@MattRichardson) March 14, 2018
What gets me fired up about adults getting pissed off about the walk out is that Columbine happened in ‘99 and seniors in high school were born that same year. That’s our whole lives we’ve been living with that fear and adults can’t possibly say they understand.— Emily Murray (@RealEmilyMurray) March 15, 2018
Perhaps more than anyone, Columbine students understand the very real possibility that nothing will change. Yet they and students all across America won't back down until something does.