A Special Day in America

14.03.2018 - New York City - David Andersson

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A Special Day in America

By David Andersson

Everything started as usual​. The morning ​cold made me move quickly to the train. ​When i got to work, i went through my usual routine of checking my email, getting update​d​ for the day. ​One email​, titled ​”​17 minutes walkout​, ​”​ had been sent by our head of school. ​This was out of ​the norm​: in my 19 years ​working at this school there had never, ever, been a walkout, and this request was not just ​sent to student​s​ but ​to administration, teachers, ​and ​support staff​. ​​Everyone ​was invited to stand outside for 17 minutes, one for each of the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month​.

​On the sidewalk along with my colleagues and students​,​ giving speeches and reading poetr​y, we saw students from the school ​a​cross​ the ​street walking-by in procession with signs. I realized that it was not just one school event but something larger​, in coordination with schools across the country. Today, March 14, was a National School Walkout​. ​The purpose, according to organizers, was to highlight “Congress’ inaction against the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.​”​ Organized ​with support from the Women’s March, an estimated 185,000 ​young people in 50 states joined. Approximately 3,100 schools said they were going to participate, an organizer told NBC News ahead of the walkout.

This is really a “new” and unusual situation​, ​ that heads of private schools put themselves into this type of social and political fight. That was not a regular rally/protest but a coordinate​d​ effort by schools administrations all​ ​over the country​,​ pressured by their students to stand and take part ​in this effort.

​The walkout took place 10 days before the March For Our Lives in Washington DC and many cities worldwide.

Categories: Education, North America, Peace and Disarmament
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