Friday, April 20, was the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine. In many ways, that school shooting was a harbinger of things to come. Shootings such as these were relatively uncommon back in 1999, but now they happen so frequently we've become almost numb to it. This year, in the wake of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida, students around the country decided to walk out on this anniversary to protest the lack of common sense gun reform.
In Alexandria, Virginia, first-grader Havana Chapman-Edwards walked out of Fort Hunt Elementary School.
Havana told ABC News:
I wanted to stand up for the kids who died in Columbine and Sandy Hook and other schools too and can't stand up for themselves anymore.
The mention of Sandy Hook is notable in that it reminds us that elementary school students such as Havana have been targets of these mass shootings, too. The other students at her school remained in the classroom. School officials said they didn't have the supervision to facilitate a mass walkout, so Chapman-Edwards' mother signed her out herself. While initially disheartened that she was the only one, she and her mother observed silence for the victims of mass shootings and then watched live-streams of other walkouts.
According to ABC, Havana told her mother:
I am going to tell my friends I did this, and then next time there will be more of us. That means we are winning.
Then she tweeted out this photo, which has since gone viral:
Many praised Havana for the inspiration she was offering young girls:
PS she loves science and making a difference too! We’re close by in VA. If your mom or sister send me a DM #tinydesigner and I would like send you some of our #girlslovescience #teachempathy & #seegoodsaythanks buttons for your spacesuit to remind you we’re with you. 💭💙 pic.twitter.com/lvU8ZEwMSC— KrystalOnDesign (@KrystalOnDesign) April 20, 2018
Hannah, I am so thankful that there are young people like you who are not afraid of peer pressure, to keep on doing what is right even if others might not join you. Thank you for being such a good role model for children and also for grownups!— Rich (@rich_magee1) April 20, 2018
You are a warrior! Thank you sweetheart, this granny is very grateful for you!— Terrie Pitts (@granniesbabies6) April 21, 2018
Others wanted her to know that while she was alone outside her school, she wasn't really alone:
Havana You are not alone. All of us around the World are with you. Proud of your independence— Bronwyn Self 🐝🦀🐴🐨🐣 (@arch2tch) April 21, 2018
You're not alone! Millions are with you and change always starts with one person! Inspired by your walkout and have no doubt that you'll make a great leader one day.— AOK (@ThisisAOK) April 20, 2018
Honey you have thousands who are with you! So proud of you!— Farmer Cats (@Farmercat) April 21, 2018
You are NOT alone! But you are so very brave! A future leader!— p li ma (@tryinntryin) April 21, 2018
And some people were just all about her NASA flight suit:
That flight suit is truly amazing and I wish it came in my size! You are on the cutting edge, dear heart!— Evil Twin (@megaholt) April 21, 2018
Which led to this exchange:
Hey wanna come visit work sometime if you’re in town?— Bobak 'NASA' Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) April 21, 2018
I’ll send you a DM with my email! Looking forward to it!— Bobak 'NASA' Ferdowsi (@tweetsoutloud) April 21, 2018