UPDATE: Other groups are proposing a similar walkout but, for March 14th. I’m more comfortable with this date.
In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, an anonymous Twitter account and a Change.org petition are calling for school students to walk out of class in order to protest the gun violence that continues to plague our nation’s schools. To be honest, I have no problem with this and I’m optimistic to see kids actually trying to do something to try to prevent school violence.
The problem I have is the date they chose. April 20th, 2018, the 19th anniversary of Columbine. I would suggest that whatever entity or organization is trying to coordinate this event pick a different date. Of course, I understand the significance of the date, but what the organizers may not understand is that April 20th is the high (un)holy day for would-be copycat shooters. I’ve lost count of the number of plots and attacks that were planned for the anniversary of Columbine before the plotters were arrested. While to my knowledge no successful attack has ever been carried out on April 20th since Columbine, this proposed walkout may present too tempting of a target for a potential shooter.
If this movement were to gain nationwide traction, I implore you to move the walkout to a different date. Even then, so many students congregating outside of the country’s schools may be a hazard regardless of the date.