Today, on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in Jefferson County, Colorado, students in Lancaster County will once again host events to spread awareness for gun violence in schools.
But instead of walking out of their school buildings, for which some schools reprimanded their students in March, many students seem to be taking a different approach.
From community rallies to meetings with state and federal lawmakers — and, yes, walkouts — here’s what students have planned:
Day of Action against Gun Violence
Millersville University is hosting a National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event will feature presentations from state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who with Gov. Tom Wolf recently started the Pennsylvania Task Force for School Safety; Jess King, a U.S. congressional candidate for the 11th District; Lancaster city Councilman Ismail Smith Wade El, Manheim Central High School student Taylor Enterline, who helped organize a town hall last month to discuss gun violence in schools; Meals On Wheels Executive Director and former Lancaster mayoral candidate Kevin Ressler; Millersville students and faculty; faith leaders and others.
Topics being discussed include how money in politics relates to gun violence, why gun control matters to high school students, school safety measures and mental health.
Gun Violence Day of Dialogue
Elizabethtown College students who participated in the Vigil of Remembrance on campus and the March For Our Lives bus trip to Washington, D.C., are orchestrating a Gun Violence Day of Dialogue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A student rally will kick off the event, which will proceed with a march to state Rep. Dave Hickernell’s office. After meeting with Hickernell, students will march back to campus ad rally at the Brossman Commons steps for the remaining two hours.
The rally will include student speakers, voter registration, a table to assist in calling lawmakers, notes and instructions on creating origami hearts for shooting victims, student musicians and a community art project.
A meeting with Smucker
Six students – Ashton Clatterbuck, Sofia Masciale-Walmer and Olivia Shumaker, of Lancaster Mennonite; Corinne de Syon and Hannah Biles, of McCaskey High School; and Julia Young, of Penn Manor High School, are planning to meet with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker at 4 p.m. to discuss school safety, gun control and Smucker’s ties to the NRA.
If Smucker doesn’t accept their request, which was sent April 5, the students will stage a sit-in at his office, Clatterbuck said.
“A dedicated group of students” dubbed CHS Speaks is planning a community event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Columbia High School’s west parking lot, Superintendent Tom Strickler said.
The group’s goal: to inform fellow students about school shootings, gun laws, bullying and mental health.
According to nationalschoolwalkout.net, students from two high schools – Manheim Central and McCaskey – are organizing walkouts. Any student, parent, teacher or administrator can register a walkout online.
Manheim Central and Lancaster administrators said they were unaware of any such walkout.
The National School Walkout was formed by four students from Ridgefield High School in Connecticut.
According to its website, it is a movement “protesting congressional, state, and local failures to take action to prevent gun violence.”