Teens, spiritual leaders and supporters plan to gather Wednesday (March 14) at Taos Plaza in a show of support for the 17 people killed by a gunman at a Parkland, Florida high school one month after the shooting.
Across the United States, teens plan to walk out of class, or if they are on spring break as Taos schools will be, students plan to gather to recognize the ongoing horror of shootings in schools around the country.
Organizers are inviting area faith leaders to don their stoles, robes, shawls, and other vestments and stand in quiet solidarity with students during the ceremony. Elected officials and political leaders from all parties also are invited to attend.
People who attend are encouraged to wear orange in a show of support. Photos, video, tweets and posts about the walkout will bear the #endgunviolence and #NationalSchoolWalkout tags.
"Teen Coordinators are taking a thoughtful approach and recently participated in a Socratic Seminar-style discussion with adult allies, as they identified mutual concerns around this topic and other school safety and community issues, such as mental health support, teacher support and assisting students and parents to access needed resources," according to a statement put out by Jill Cline, one of the Taos organizers.
The gathering in Taos will be lead by teens and include youth speakers, a candle lighting ceremony and teen performers. The marchers will then walk to the Taos Center for the Arts to view the "Art of Nonviolence" show.
Afterward, First Presbyterian Church will host forums and discussions about solutions and actions.
Right Reverend Michael Vono, ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Río Grande and a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, is coming to Taos to support the teens in their efforts.
The Taos Teen #walkonplaza is organized by Common Grounds: A Taos Teen Co-Op and other Taos area teens. The event is co-hosted by St. James Episcopal Church and First Presbyterian Church of Taos, Golden Willow Retreat Center and Counseling, Help Outreach Taos, Taos Interfaith/Intercultural Alliance, Taos United. TrueKids1 will record the event.