In wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, a group of Utah high school students have organized a rally at the Utah State Capitol Building. The rally will take place this Friday at 1:30 p.m.
Prior to the rally, high school students all over the nation will participate in a national walkout at 10 a.m. across all time zones. April 20, 2018 marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, where 12 students and one teacher were murdered at the hands of two troubled students. This walkout will last 13 minutes in honor of those lives lost.
This will signify the third national high school walkout since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14, 2018. Herriman High School student Kimberly Knowlton says it can’t be the last.
“Right now, our big focus is just keeping this momentum going. We have students that are organizing a debate on April 28. That’s our next event that’s going to be happening. We don’t want this to die out,” Knowlton says.
The goal of all these walkouts is to create awareness and to put an end to gun violence, especially in schools. Knowlton believes change is happening and something big is on the horizon.
“With [the issue] getting as much attention as it is, it’s something that politicians can’t ignore like they have been. I think it’s definitely going to turn a bunch of heads,” Knowlton says. “Those politicians that refuse to act, when they’re up for re-election, they’re not going to be re-elected if they’re refusing to take action on this issue.”
The high schools involved in organizing the April 20 rally include AMES (Academy for Math, Engineering and Science), Bingham, East, Herriman, Highland, Payson, Skyline and Woods Cross. This day of action will include voter registration, prepared postcards to voice your concerns to representatives and a panel of representatives and candidates to answer student’s questions regarding gun control.
Knowlton stressed the importance of keeping this momentum going to do something about the issue of common-sense gun laws.
“Right from the beginning after Parkland there [were] the three events organized. There was the walkout on March 14, then the March for Our Lives on March 24 and then this walkout [April 20] as well. Had I been a politician on the other end of this issue, I definitely would’ve been looking forward to this April 20 walkout,” Knowlton says.
Follow the Utah School Walkout for more information on the April 20 walkout and the rally at Capitol Hill.