PHOTOS: North Texas Students Walk Out Of Class In Protest Against Gun Violence | KERA News

PHOTOS: North Texas Students Walk Out Of Class In Protest Against Gun Violence

Apr 20, 2018

Students in North Texas participated in a national walkout in protest of gun violence on Friday, which marked the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Dozens of high schools across Dallas-Fort Worth had walkouts planned. The National School Walkout website says nearly 2,500 walkouts were scheduled across the country, mostly at high schools but at some middle schools and colleges. 

Scenes from local walkouts

Flower Mound

KERA's Stella M. Chavez interviewed the organizer of the Flower Mound demonstration about why she wanted to participate in the national walkout. 

For more on the Flower Mound walkout, watch this Facebook Live video.

Frisco

Some licensed gun holders showed up with rifles at Heritage High School's student walkout in Frisco. Valerie Wigglesworth with The Dallas Morning News reported the men left without incident. 

Arlington

A student in Arlington tells The Dallas Morning News' Eva-Marie Ayala that she's lost friends and family members to gun violence and she said it seems like "no one is getting up to do anything about it."

Dallas

Students at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts left their classrooms at 10 a.m. Others at Woodrow Wilson in East Dallas walked out in the afternoon.

Background on the national event

High schoolers in Connecticut, with the help of the nonprofit Indivisible, organized the national event in light of the Feb. 14 school shooting at Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people on campus.

"In the time I've been in high school we've had the Pulse, Las Vegas and now, [the Parkland] shooting," Lane Murdock, the high school sophomore who organized the national walkout, told NPR.

Although the walkout coincides with the Columbine shooting, the Colorado school isn’t participating. Just as it has done every year since the April 20, 1999, shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher, Columbine High School will be closed. Students there will stick with their tradition of holding a day of service to commemorate the tragedy in a community that includes both those who have pushed for gun control and to arm teachers.

Murdock, who attends Ridgefield High School in Connecticut, says her organization has been in touch with friends and family of the Columbine community, saying "we've been having a dialogue with them."

Murdock says it is "awesome" that Columbine is doing a service day, but that doesn't mean other students across the country should not follow through with the walkouts, which they've spent a lot of time planning over the past two months.

"Honestly, I just think they're different approaches to the same problem," Murdock said. "This is their day and they've been working really hard and they deserve to raise their voice the way they see fit."

Murdock told NPR she expects the national walkout to last all day. It’s unclear how long participating North Texas students will be out of the classroom.

This latest protest against violence in schools follows last month’s "March For Our Lives" and the 17 minutes of silence on March 14 in honor of the Parkland victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.