Who Started The National Student Walkout? This Connecticut Teen Is On A Mission
A prolific political rally, led by thousands of students, is going take place on April 20 in the United States of America. The anti-gun violence protest is known as the National Student Walkout and was started by Lane Murdock — a young student from Ridgefield High School, Connecticut.
You may have seen Murdock interviewed by a whole host of media outlets; she's no stranger to media's attention at this point. The Ridgefield High sophomore has garnered a reputation for not mincing her words on mass shootings in the country. Murdock designated April 20 as the National Student Walkout day after a gruesome shooting rattled the students and faculty members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
In a March interview with Refinery29, Murdock said that she was always interested in progressive politics and had already been writing petitions to those in more powerful positions since she was a little girl. "When I was younger, I would often write up very small petitions at my school for things I honestly can't even tell you what they were for but I just remember going around the playground and having people sign them," she told Refinery29.
The 15-year-old also spoke about the importance of progressive education and empowering students to learn more about creating and mobilizing radical movements with the help of social media. "I think when you take that education, plus you take empowerment, kids who believe in themselves plus social media, you add all that together and you've got very smart people with very smart tools," Murdock said.
Organizing a nationwide protest is no joke. Especially at Murdock's age, mobilizing a political rally can be emotionally taxing and physically exerting work. But she seems to have a good sense of humor about it in spite of the stressful topic at hand. Seemingly unbothered by the baseless and often vicious right-wing conspiracy theories peddled against the anti-gun violence activists like herself, Murdock has shared amusing quips on her Twitter account.
She recently tweeted, "What's been the most amusing is people wanting me to act like the cute baby faced 15-year-old they see, but want me to run this movement like a 40-year-old campaign manager. Surprise! I act like a 70-year-old failed actress." It's pinned at the top of her profile.
The National School Walkout on April 20 is similar to the walkout that took place on March 14. Like the upcoming rally, the March 14 protest involved thousands of students walking out of their classrooms throughout different states in the country. Students commemorated the 17 lives lost in Parkland, Florida, by staying outside for 17 minutes.
But there is one major way that the April 20 rally will be different than the one in March. While students will step out of their classrooms at 10 a.m. in their own states, they'll stay out for a whole school day and not just 17 minutes. The date is also the anniversary of the horrific school shooting that took place at Columbine High School in Colorado. The incident led to the deaths of 13 people. Murdock said that protesters will hold 13 seconds of silence for the lives lost in the terrifying 1999 shooting.
There's a reason for spending more than 17 minutes, according to Murdock. While speaking with ABC News, she said, "This is a problem that needs to be addressed longer than 17 minutes." She added: "Leaving for longer than 17 minutes, leaving and breaking up that schedule that all American students have every day, is how you get people to pay attention."