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National School Walkout refers to a March 14th, 2018 mass protest by school students across the United States for stricter gun control laws. The protests took place a month after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting. The students demanded the banning of assault weapons, universal background checks for gun purchasers, and pass a gun violence restraining order law that would allow courts to disarm people who display warning signs of violent behavior.
The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school organized the protest with the help of Empower, the Youth Wing of the group which organized the Women's March.  On February 16th, 2018, the Women's March Twitter account announced the protest (shown below).
On March 14th, 2018, students across the globe walked out of school at 10 A.M. local time. Many of the protests were planned to last for 17 minutes, symbolically representing the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Notably, students in the Washington D.C. area took their protest to the White House. Organizers of the protest say roughly 3,000 schools participated in the protest, and social media statistics indicated that roughly 150,000 students said they would participate. Democratic politicians including Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) voiced their support for the student protestors. The protests also received global support, with CNN reporting that students from Israel and Tanzania both joined in the protest (shown below).
Online, the protests received strong support on social media. Democratic congressman John Lewis tweeted his support of the protest, gaining over 17,000 retweets and 53,000 likes (shown below, left). User @KrangTNelson joked that students who refused to participate in the protest would be attending the prom with their cousin (shown below, right).
#WalkUpNotOut is a hashtag campaign inspired by the school walkout, asking participants to talk and interact with those who may feel ostracized in schools. While the campaign has received praise, it has also attracted criticism, with some accusing the campaign as a form of victim blaming on the students for not talking to those who were ostracized, as it may not be their fault for losing their lives in a potential school shootout.
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