Thousands of students and teachers across the US plan to walk out of schools to call for increased gun control measures to prevent more mass shootings.
The demonstrations will take place on Wednesday and will last for 17 minutes to honor the 17 people killed on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month.
It was the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in US history.
There have already been at least 14 school shootings in the US since the beginning of 2018. That averages out to 1.5 shooting a week.
The walkout was called by Women’s March Youth Empower. The group said in a statement the walkout is being called “to protest Congress’ refusal to take action on the gun violence epidemic plaguing our schools and neighborhoods.”
Thousands of students have already staged protests in Washington and the state of Florida after the shooting.
The administration of US President Donald Trump plans to help arm teachers to deter school shootings, a controversial idea that has drawn little support from educators, including the National Education Association (NRA), the country’s largest teachers lobby.
On Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law a gun control bill that was passed by the state’s legislature. The new law raises the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21 and extends the waiting period to three days, a dramatic turnaround in one of the most gun-friendly states in America.
The NRA immediately filed a lawsuit at a US federal court in Florida after the gun control bill was signed into law, arguing that it violated the US Constitution.
The NRA has become the focus of a growing movement by activists who are demanding that US politicians stop accepting political donations from the gun lobby.
Trump was endorsed by the NRA in his 2016 presidential election campaign. The president and his fellow Republicans in Congress strongly support Americans’ constitutional right to own guns.