Thousands of students across America are marching out of class to demand leaders like Paul Ryan take real action on guns.
Students all across America rose up and marched out of their classes in protest of gun violence Wednesday, a month after the deadly shooting in Florida.
National Walkout Day saw students at over 3,000 schools leave their classes to demand action on gun safety. At many schools, students left class for 17 minutes to represent the 17 victims who were murdered by the gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida last month.
In the D.C. region, thousands of students from 28 schools gathered outside the the White House, where they symbolically turned their backs on Trump in silence. They then marched down the National Mall and to the U.S. Capitol, to shame congressional leaders for their inaction.
As they walked, Speak Paul Ryan was touting the STOP School Violence Act — another GOP-led attempt to dodge students’ demands for gun control.
“Tragic violence has no place in our schools,” Ryan said. He claimed that the legislation “keeps the Sandy Hook promise” by providing funds for training and school safety.
But the students have not been fooled.
While the bill provides funding for some worthwhile measures, it does not have any provisions relating to guns.
It echoes some of the themes of the school violence recommendations made by the Trump administration, which proposes a commission to study the issue and does not raise the age for gun purchases.
The path chosen by Ryan and Trump is the one preferred by their financial backers at the NRA. It does not address the underlying safety issue that has prompted the grassroots uprising from America’s children.
They want action on gun violence. They are marching and protesting with the clear message that elected leaders need to enact legislation that deals with gun safety.
Ryan’s tone-deaf media appearance, even as students were outside demanding action, is not unusual for him. He has a history of ignoring the people in favor of the wealthy who have his ear and a hand in his pocket.
But the students are not falling for it and demanding better leadership.