Ryan Petty, the father of one of the students killed in last month’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has proposed an alternative to the school walkouts being held around the country today.
He is urging people to “walk up,” not out.
“Instead of walking out of school in March 14, encourage students to walk up,” he posted on Twitter. “Walk up to the kid who sits alone at lunch and invite him to sit with your group; walk up to the kid who sits quietly in the corner of the room nd sit next to her…Walk up to your teachers and thank them; walk up to someone who has different views than you and get to know them — you may be surprised at how much you have in common.”
In his message, he also expressed doubt that the widely planned and oft-discussed walkouts wouldn’t accomplish very much.
After Petty’s 14-year-old daughter Alaina was killed in the shooting, the grieving father has been politically and socially active. He has called for comprehensive change and has voiced support for measures, such as improving school security and expanding mental health awareness. He has remained reserved on some of the more popular gun control-centric ideas, such as restricting access to AR-15-style weapons (though he does support other gun control measures).
Students around the country are using Wednesday, March 14 as a day to stage walkouts and other forms of activism to mark the one-month anniversary of the Stoneman Douglas tragedy.