Central Texans take action against gun violence
AUSTIN, Texas - Central Texans are taking action in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. They're demanding change with the goal of bringing safety back to schools.
The Walkout Austin Facebook event, in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has really taken off within the last 24 hours. More than 400 people have put they are going, more than two-thousand people have put they are interested in going.
"Parents send their children thinking they're going to be safe and they're not right now, that is unacceptable," says John Burleson, co-host, Walkout Austin.
Co-host John Burleson says Austin's event is part of National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools, set for April 20th. The date holds great significance. It's the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
"For almost two decades, everyone has felt insecure in their safety at their schools. It's two decades too long," says Burleson.
The April 20th rally is being organized by community members, taking place at the Capitol from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. They're hoping to work with local activist groups and PTA groups, to then point out to government officials the changes they would like to see.
"It's pretty overwhelming in every poll that I've seen, that people from all sides of the political spectrum really want more common-sense background checks. They want background checks on private seller sales," says Burleson.
This is just one of many events planned over the next several weeks but others have already begun. In Pflugerville on Monday, protesters stood across the high school with signs in hand - all rallying against gun violence.
"We want kids to know, if you see something say something. Also for parents, talk to your kids each and every day," says Renae Mitchell, parent & PFISD Board of Trustee.
It was put on by Community Supporting Safe Schools. Their message: safer schools for teachers, students and staff. Mayor Victor Gonzalez has some plans in the works.
"We're going to look at active shooter training in the schools and some mock kind of situations and making sure that we're cooperating and coordinating with not only PFISD security police but also with emergency services, the fire service and things of that nature," says Mayor Victor Gonzalez, City of Pflugerville.
Burleson says now is the time to take action. You can find the Walkout Austin event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/.
"It takes a village to raise a child, well it takes a village to protect a child. I think our giant village of the United States needs to step up," says Burleson.
March 14th - the organizers of the Women's March are calling for a national school walkout of 17 minutes.
March 24th - march in Washington D.C. organized by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
April 20th - the National Day of Action by the Network for Public Education.