Ridgefield student helps launch National School Walkout movement

The National School Walkout movement has roots in Ridgefield.

Ridgefield High School sophomore Lane Murdock is among the national student leaders protesting for stricter gun control laws after a school shooting in Florida last week that claimed the lives of 17 people.

“I felt like it was our time to take a stand because, you know, we’re the ones in these schools, we’re the ones who are having shooters come into our classrooms and our spaces,” Murdock told Reuters Sunday.

Murdock's petition has gone on to accumulate more than 55,000 signatures, and the protest - officially branded the National School Walkout - has reached 76,500 (and counting) Twitter followers as of 1 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19.

Murdock and other National student leaders are calling for their peers to exit school Friday, April 20 - the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre in Colorado.

“Nothing has changed since Columbine, let us start a movement that lets the government know the time for change is now,” wrote Murdock, who encourages those participating to wear orange and protest in their local communities before the National School exodus on April 20.

Ridgefield Board of Finance member Jessica Mancini praised the movement that's being run “by students for students.”

“I am proud of this young woman and our youth for taking action and being involved,” Mancini said in a Facebook post over the weekend.

“Lane shared with me that ‘our youth doesn't have a vote in elections and they have little representation but this issue directly impacts them,’” Mancini wrote.

“I am to be led by these amazing young leaders,” she added. “This is our next generation and I couldn't be more proud.”