Parkland School Shooting Student Activism -- Can Youth Advocates Maintain Their Momentum in Demanding Gun Control Reform?2018-02-19
The student activism movement that arose and grew to national proportions following the tragic Valentine’s Day shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida continues to build momentum.
Demanding substantive gun control reform measures, the youth advocates turned out in numbers for a March 14 National School Walkout protest. The action invited students and teachers across the country to walk out of their schools and universities at 10 a.m. local time for 17 minutes to honor the memory of those killed in the Parkland school shooting. Thousands of protesters that participated in a March 24 “Walk for Our Lives” protest march on Washington, D.C. were joined by those marching in solidarity in cities across the United States and abroad. Next up? Another national school walkout is planned for April 20 to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.
Can the student activists maintain their momentum and affect legislative and cultural change in gun control reform and school safety?
Jerusha Conner, an associate professor in Villanova University’s Department of Education and Counseling who researches and has expertise in student activism thinks the Parkland students’ call for support could bring about real change. She is co-author of the book, "Contemporary Youth Activism: Advancing Social Justice in the United States."
“Although they are younger than their student activist counterparts who launched the anti-Vietnam war movement and this fight is taking place solely on our own soil, there are many parallels between the two student-led movements,” says Conner. “This suggests that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students could have as great a role in shaping national debate and changing the course of American policy as their forebears, who fought for peace and justice in the 196Os did.”
To contact Conner click on her headshot above or call the Media Relations office at (610) 519-5152 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.