The nationwide “Walkout Day” in favor of gun control has ignited a fiery tweet storm.
Twitter users debated the demonstrations, in which students of all ages in schools around the country are walking out of class for 17 minutes to call for stricter gun regulation, including a ban on “assault weapons.”
Some users suggested that many of the student protesters are only participating in the walkout in order to get out of class.
My son, who is a freshman, said he will NOT participate in #NationalSchoolWalkout. He also said that a majority of the kids who are participating at his school are doing it “just to get out of class”.
— Brittany (@mrsr0926) March 14, 2018
Some students shot back at that assertion.
I'm not walking out to get out of class. I'm not too young to make a statement. I'm not threatening your rights. I'm walking out so I don't have to die in class. I'm old enough to speak out. I'm protesting the loose gun laws America has.#NationalWalkoutDay
— Blazing💥💫 (@blazingactivist) March 14, 2018
One user who supported the walkout acknowledged that a number of students just want to skip class, but recommended educating them about the issues.
Instead of getting mad at those protesting just to get out of class, educate them! Help them understand, I don't like that they don't care either but… #NationalSchoolWalkout
— Josie 🌹 (@flannelfatale) March 14, 2018
One of the most common arguments against the demonstrations was that the left is allegedly politicizing the deaths of children in school shootings to exploit impressionable students.
One issue for some observers was that, in many instances, schools are helping coordinate the walkouts, which are being loosely organized by the youth division of the Women’s March, Fox News reports.
It’s not a “walkout” if the schools are allowing the children to do it. It’s a coordinated effort between students, teachers unions and the media in order to push gun control. #NationalWalkoutDay @THErealDVORAK @adamcurry
— Randy (@randallBeacons) March 14, 2018
Detractors of Walkout Day said teenagers don’t have the life experience to decide definitively on a major policy issue.
If we're being honest with ourselves & with each other, we all know that no one under the age of 30 with no life experience, no employment experience, no family experience, etc. should be involved in politics.
Liberal movements exploit & prey on students.#NationalWalkoutDay
— Racial Consciousness (@Nature_and_Race) March 14, 2018
So in other words you still think teenagers who ate tide pods know whats best for this country with #NationalWalkOutDay.
— Billy Benign (@blstlcic) March 14, 2018
Some students expressed outrage at their schools for taking a “middle-of-the-road” approach with prayer services.
I am ashamed at Matignon for scheduling a PRAYER service during the walkout. A main purpose of the walkout is that thoughts and prayers are not enough. Stay outside after the prayer service and then the protest will begin. #NationalSchoolWalkout
— Grace Anne (@gcducky) March 13, 2018
You have had a whole month to send your thoughts and prayers, today we can talk about the cause of this violence #NationalWalkoutDay
— gage (@GagePercival) March 14, 2018
Others hoped for more time for prayer at schools in light of the time being devoted to political protests.
#NationalWalkoutDay I hope schools that allow dismissal for free speech today provide equal time in the future for freedom of religion & prayer at school also.
— Jersey Conservative (@jerseyfreedom) March 14, 2018
Some conservative Twitter users said student protesters should be subject to discipline for leaving class, and that staff who allow the walkout should be fired.
All students that walkout should be suspended as it is illegal in most states for students to leave school (skip) without excused absence permission! School districts allowing this are putting children in danger and the city will be liable for any damages! #NationalWalkoutDay
— 82Jump⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@BlueiisChris) March 14, 2018
Any school administrators who allow students to walk out of class without consequence to protest against the 2nd Amendment should be fired.
— Mark Pantano (@TheMarkPantano) March 14, 2018
Dear Constitutional Illiterate Leftists (I know, redundant),
Walking out of class is not protected speech.
— Mark Pantano (@TheMarkPantano) March 14, 2018
Gun control advocates berated the walkout’s critics, saying a child participating in a demonstration isn’t the “worst” thing that could happen at school.
if you think your child missing 17 minutes of class is the worst thing that could happen, imagine sending them to school only for them to be murdered in a place you both thought was safe #NationalWalkoutDay
— geeg (@gmitch1998) March 14, 2018
To the adults threatening #NationalWalkoutDay student protestors with suspension, you’re gonna want to hold onto your hats when I tell you that it turns out that’s not the worst thing that can happen to them at school.
— Cynthia McCabe (@crkmccabe) March 14, 2018
Many parents claimed their children would avoid the walkout by not attending school.
My son will be staying home.
Exploitation of children to further a political cause.
Should be held AFTER school hours.#MAGA
— AAngel (@AandJAngel) March 14, 2018
— 🇺🇸 KevinHurl1🇺🇸 (@kevinhurl1) March 14, 2018
My kid – “I’m not going to school today”
Me – “Why”
Kid- “I think it’s stupid protesting guns while men with guns protect us while we protest”
Me – “I love you, enjoy your day off”
— Victor Nikki (@HapkidoBigDad) March 14, 2018
Virginia lawmaker and Republican US Senate candidate Nick Freitas took a different approach to critiquing Walkout Day, saying that the most important thing students can do is to befriend troubled teens like Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz.
— Nick Freitas (@NickForVA) March 14, 2018
“When you come back into the class room, the same problems will exist,” Feitas said. “It’ll still be there. … Go speak truth to power, but then go back to that student and speak hope and life and love into that person’s life.”