A whole lot of pro-gun activists, conspiracy theorists, and general piles of garbage want to pretend these children don't exist. But today, hundreds of South Florida students have walked out of class and are marching in the streets to demand increased gun-safety laws after 17 students and teachers were shot to death last week at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Students who have spoken out have been called fake "crisis actors" planted by the FBI and George Soros. They've been accused of being pawns for Every Town for Gun Safety, a nonprofit funded in part by Michael Bloomberg. They've been mocked online and attacked for simply living through a mass shooting with dignity.
And their contemporaries are out in the streets today echoing their message. Students from West Boca Raton High marched for more than three hours to Stoneman Douglas High today. The schools sit roughly 12 miles apart. Other walkouts at North Broward Preparatory, Fort Lauderdale High, and Hollywood MacArthur High are also planned, according to the Miami Herald.
Busloads of Stoneman Douglas students are also en route to Tallahassee to demand that state lawmakers do their basic jobs and do something to prevent future school shootings.
WATCH: Students from Florida's West Boca High School have walked out of their classes, heading towards Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as part of a call-to-action by students in the area after the mass shooting last week that killed 17 people https://t.co/JoGj3r547e pic.twitter.com/yqeNwj9PVM— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 20, 2018
West Boca Community High School in Boca Raton, Fl. walk out. They are on their way to Stoneman Douglas chanting "WE WANT CHANGE". pic.twitter.com/H1H4CrrvHS— JVL (@JLatker) February 20, 2018
Screaming hell yeah ! As the students of #BocaWest High School in #Florida walk out of their classes to march the 8 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as part of a call-to-action for #GunReformNow #GunControlNow #Parkland #Enough #walkout #NeverAgain #BeTheChange pic.twitter.com/jmPg61JKnz— Michael Dean Shelton (@michaeldean0116) February 20, 2018
Some students have already reached Stoneman Douglas: Herald reporter Martin Vassolo filmed multiple teens speaking outside the high school roughly an hour ago:
Teenage protesters say they inadvertently force a middle school into a lockdown after they staged a walk out to protest gun violence. Gathered now at Stoneman Douglas High. pic.twitter.com/FLD2E9qW9N— Martin Vassolo (@martindvassolo) February 20, 2018
West Boca students who hitched rides to Stoneman Douglas cheer on students who walked and ran 12 miles to get here. Among them 15-year-old Nikole Solas and 14-year-old Tomas Segnini. pic.twitter.com/elHOl7Go4f— Martin Vassolo (@martindvassolo) February 20, 2018
"It's not about a mental health problem," one student, 14-year-old Tomas
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Separately, Angelica Grindle, whose child attends North Broward Preparatory, told New Times that students on that campus planned to walk out at 2 p.m. today. One day after the Stoneman Douglas massacre, gunshots were reported at North Broward Prep. It turns out a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy had fired his gun by accident, but the school was briefly placed on lockdown anyway.
Parent from North Broward Prep sent me these images from their #Parkland walkout today, apparently the school isn't letting kids leave the campus so they're demonstrating on the football field #StonemanShooting pic.twitter.com/LPLNolzwhu— Jerry Iannelli (@jerryiannelli) February 20, 2018
CNN will host a town-hall debate on gun violence with Florida politicians, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, alongside many Parkland survivors. The quality of the post-Parkland discourse on the right has been far less civil — Donald Trump Jr. this morning shared fake conspiracy theories all day and attacked children who survived the slaughter.