Ridgefield Students Planning Nationwide Movement To Fight Gun Violence

Feb 26, 2018

Students from Ridgefield High School are taking aim at gun violence. Members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation invited them up to Hartford Friday to talk about their plan for a walkout for students nationwide.

“There’s no great social change movement in the history of this country that hasn’t been led by young people,” Sen. Chris Murphy said. “They are proof that when young people speak up -- when they speak truth to power -- they have an ability to impact the debate that is unique.”

Lane Murdock, a 15-year-old-sophomore, said that when she first heard about the shooting in Parkland, Florida, she wasn’t comfortable with her reaction. She said she was numb to it.

“Realizing that I was numb, I knew that there was time for a change,” Murdock said. “The fact that I was so numb to something like this, that’s not ok. So that’s definitely why I started the petition.”

Her petition, filed on change.org, calls for a #nationalschoolwalkout on April 20.  And the idea is picking up steam – the petition has over 165,000 signatures — and counting.

Paul Kim said he envisions #nationalschoolwalkout as being the biggest student demonstration in American history. He’s a 17-year-old senior at Ridgefield High and he’s the event’s communications director.

“I read it over and I saw that the message on the petition was very on point,” Kim said. “And essentially it states that, we’re done with congress reacting to tragedies with inaction.”

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty agreed. She said that the powerful message from the surviving students of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has had an effect on Republicans in the United States House of Representatives. She claimed it’s caused them to cancel two votes scheduled next week.

“Students, I think, are the answer,” Esty said. “Students stopped a war [Vietnam] in this country and I believe that students can and will stop the war that has been taken up in our schools.”

Kids from across the country will be able to register for the walkout through a website set up by the Ridgefield students. At 10:00 am on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting, students are encouraged to get up and walk out of school.