U of M students plan Wednesday walkout, rally to protest gun violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —Students at University of Memphis will join others across the country in walkouts and rallies Wednesday, one month after the fatal shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

The University of Memphis Progressive Student Alliance says it will hold a walkout and rally at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the tiger statue in front of the students center.

The students hope to send a message protesting gun violence and demanding Congress take action on gun control.

U of M President David Rudd told campus newspaper The Daily Helmsman that he supports students taking action in the activism but cautioned them to be careful of unexcused absences and their responsibilities to their classes.

The event is expected to last at least 17 minutes — one for each person killed in the Florida shooting.

Shelby County Schools, the largest school district in the area, is on Spring Break this week, but students there have planned activities on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the school shooting in Columbine, Colorado.

More than 2,500 local walkouts have been planned at schools Wednesday, in conjunction with a rally outside the NRA’s California headquarters.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee sent a letter Tuesday to every school district in the state calling on school directors to ensure that students’ First Amendment rights are protected.