While students across the country are taking a stand against school violence by walking out of class Wednesday, some are trying to shed a positive light, and rather focus on the students who could be considered outcasts to prevent violence before it happens.
That’s the idea behind the movement “Walk Up Not Out,” a suggestion made by a Maryland mother in a viral Facebook post, The Carroll County Times reported.
Kelly Guest of Hamstead, Maryland, wrote on social media two weeks after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, “Instead of walking out of school on March 14, encourage students to walk up -- walk up to the kid who sits alone at lunch and invite him to sit with your group...”
Her post had nearly 70,000 shares on Facebook alone and started the hashtag #walkupnotout.
Guest’s message quickly spread on other platforms like Twitter challenging everyone to be kind, the Indy Star reported.
Guest told the Carroll County Times that her idea of the walk up came after a CNN program in which the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School spoke to lawmakers, law enforcement and an NRA spokesperson.
She said that while the students were passionate about their stand against guns and violence, the discussion broke down because of disrespect, that students need to be heard, but also adult leaders should also have their viewpoints considered.
“Not saying that political officials always have wisdom ... but it has to be a two-way dialog,” Guest told the paper.
She also said that she believes that some of today’s planned walkouts have lost the focus of their original intent of remembering the victims of the Parkland shooting and taking a stand against violence.
“I’m not sure making something illegal ... will stop these things,” Guest told the Carroll County Times. She added that the move to change the gun laws could give students “a false sense of security.”
Students across the country will use today, the one-month anniversary of the Parkland shooting, to march out of classes, to force lawmakers to change gun laws, CNN reported.
Protesters are calling for Congress to ban assault weapons, create universal background checks before gun sales and allow courts to remove guns from the possession of people who show warning signs of violent behavior, CNN reported.
Enough is enough!— Women's March (@womensmarch) February 16, 2018
Women's March Youth EMPOWER is calling for students, teachers, and allies to take part in a #NationalSchoolWalkout for 17 minutes at 10am on March 14, 2018. Join us in saying #ENOUGH!https://t.co/8ZE8uthRlZ pic.twitter.com/45yCZl4zDm