Skip to content

Students Demand Action Walkout Activation Toolkit

We are grieving with the Uvalde community and demanding action from our lawmakers. Use our toolkit to plan a walkout at your school.

5.25.2022
A person in a Students Demand Action shirt holds up a Don't Look Away sign in a crowd at a rally in Washington, DC in June 2022

What

Enough is enough. We are absolutely devastated for everyone impacted by this senseless act of violence. Once again, gun violence has forced its way into our schools, leaving nothing but devastation, trauma, and tragedy in its wake. Nineteen students and two adults were shot and killed. We need more than thoughts and prayers. We demand action from our lawmakers now.

We are grieving with the Uvalde community, a predominantly Latinx community, and everyone else impacted by yet another senseless act of violence in our schools. This is yet another tragic example of how pervasive this public health crisis is in our country.

School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence, but thanks to our weak gun laws and the gun lobby’s relentless ‘guns everywhere’ agenda, nowhere is safe. Students deserve to learn and live without fear.

We won’t accept a country where gunfire can ring out at any moment, whether it’s while grocery shopping at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a party in San Bernardino, or graduations across the country. We deserve more.

Who

Students Demand Action Leaders and Members, Teachers, School Staff, Parents, Everyone.

Where

Campuses across the country.

Why

Know why you are walking out. Here are some reasons. 

  • Gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children and teens. 
  • Prior to yesterday’s shooting, there have been at least 77 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 14 deaths and 45 injuries nationally. Six of these incidents took place in Texas.
  • These numbers are a continuation of an alarming trend—the first half of the 2021-2022 school year was the deadliest in recent history.
  • We won’t accept a country where gunfire can ring out at any moment, whether it’s while grocery shopping at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, a party in San Bernardino, or graduations across the country. We deserve more. 
  • How many more kids have to die in our schools before our lawmakers act? How many more people need to die while grocery shopping? While walking on our city streets? We deserve to learn and live without fear, but thanks to our weak gun laws and the gun lobby’s relentless ‘guns everywhere’ agenda, nowhere is safe. 
  • Every single instance of gunfire that children are exposed to impacts their ability to learn, grow, and develop—we need to also address the epidemic of daily gun violence which plagues far too many communities across the country and that kids have to walk through on their way to and from school.
  • Systemic inequities across institutions and generations of racial discrimination have exacerbated this public health crisis creating a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities—including Latinx communities. We all deserve to be safe from gun violence—no matter our race, immigration status or zip codes.
  • As our peers are rallying in our nation’s capital, we are walking out of our schools again at home to make sure lawmakers know that we need gun safety at all levels. We know this work takes all of us and that’s why we are continuing to fight to make sure when we walk into school we are guaranteed to walk out.
  • CALL TO ACTION: Today we want our senators to be inundated with phone calls demanding that they take action. Text BOLD to 644-33 to be connected to your senator.

How

1. Talk to your school administration.

  • Select a trusted teacher or counselor to talk to about why walking out is important to you. 
  • Ask your administration to support your advocacy efforts. Your administration may or may not support your walkout. 
  • Your walkout isn’t targeted against the school administration. Your first priority is to work with them.

2. Publicize and recruit students to participate.

  • Create a list of groups in your school, identify leaders in these groups and ask them to join the group planning your walkout. This will help build support among a diverse set of your peers. 
    • Student Government: They can get the word out and build support.
    • Cultural Student Associations (i.e. Black Student Unions): key to ensuring that all communities feel represented in your action and the messaging around it 
    • Student organizations related to gun violence: They’ve been doing the organizing work for a while and can often connect you to speakers and help tailor calls to action
  • Create posters, post on social media and spread the news with word of mouth.
  • Use social media to connect with your classmates about the walkout. DM people, contact other school clubs, contact students at other schools. 
  • Make sure to register your walkout with Students Demand Action so the Students Demand Action team can help support your event and your recruitment efforts.

3. At your walkout

  • Stop whatever you’re doing and simply walk out — into the hallway, out of your school building, whatever feels right to you.
  • You can circle your school holding hands
  • You can stage your walkout in your school’s hallway
  • You can hold a lie-in on school grounds
  • Get creative—or any other action that makes sense for you and your community.
  • Wear orange to show solidarity. Orange is the color of the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement.
  • Encourage people to make signs potential language includes:
    • ENOUGH
    • Gun Violence is the Leading Cause of Death for American Children & Teens
    • Protect Children Not Guns 
    • We are the FUTURE 
    • I want to read books not eulogies 
    • I should be worry about my SATs – NOT MY LIFE 
    • Never again
    • Don’t shoot 
    • Ni uno más.  
    • Let this be the last mass shooting generation
    • When will enough be enough?
    • If not now, when?
    • Don’t be silent, end gun violence
    • Don’t Look Away
    • We Deserve More than Thoughts and Prayers
  • Include this CALL TO ACTION: Today we want our senators to be inundated with phone calls demanding that they take action. Text BOLD to 644-33 to be connected to your senator.

4. Safety

Have conversations with your school administration or school resource officer to help determine best practices that take into account the safety of all students. If walking outside is not a safe option then consider walking-out into hallways, congregate in your school gym, or simply stand up in your classroom for an allotted amount of time.

5. Know your rights.

Review the ACLU: Know Your Rights: Student Walkouts and Protests at School

Planning Checklist

Before your walkout

  • Organize a team at your school to help you with details—give them specific roles (i.e. media coordinator/volunteer coordinator/ advertisement/etc.) Include all grades in the organization of walkout to represent solidarity within the school
  • Create a Walkout Plan 
  • Contact school administration 
  • Submit your walkout to the Students Demand Action event form
  • Create an advertising plan and act on it
    • Social Media: Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter
    • Personal Instagram stories and snapchat 
  • Word of mouth 
  • Fliers/posters/etc. 
  • Encourage people to wear orange clothing
  • Media Outreach 
    • Contact the journalism and yearbook club/class
    • Contact any local news stations to cover the event 
  • Confirm the items you need (posters, megaphone, etc.) 
  • Make sure everyone is bringing what they’re responsible for and doing their specific jobs
  • Optional: Make orange ribbons
  • Optional: Make posters
  • Optional: Prepare speeches 
  • Decide where you are walking out: hallway, athletic field, etc. Think about creating a safe and accessible route for students
  • Educate students about their rights  
  • Recruit volunteers to help with poster making, ribbon cutting, ushering people to walkout site, designated photographer and videographer/someone to livestream on social media

On the day of the walkout

  • Get to school early to go over plan/hand out ribbons and posters 
    • Leave class slightly earlier to ensure things are prepared 
  • Speak passionately 
  • Celebrate that you made an impact
  • Share the call to action: Text STUDENTS to 644-33
  • Post your walkout on social media. Tag us:

Register Your Walkout

The Students Demand Action team can help support your event and your recruitment efforts. Please complete this form with the details for your event and someone from our team will be in touch with next steps on event approval and some tips on how to boost attendance and make the most of your event.

The Latest