Maine students planning to join Wednesday’s national walkout to protest gun violence are making contingency plans now that a slow-moving storm has closed most schools for a second day.

As of early Wednesday, many districts had canceled school and student organizers were taking steps to make sure the protests would go ahead when possible.

In Portland, where the district planned a 30-minute pause in the school day to allow for student activities, on-campus protests were moved toThursday. But some students at Portland’s King Middle School said they planned to gather at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Monument Square, and were spreading the word on social media.

At Mount Desert Island High School, an organizer said they agreed to do their walkout on Friday, in the event of a snow day. At Cape Elizabeth High, an organizer said they would likely hold their event on Thursday.

About 40 schools from Berwick to Machias planned to participate in the nationwide #Enough National School Walkout to End Gun Violence organized by a student-led branch of the Women’s March.

The 17-minute walkouts are intended to bring attention to gun violence and to demand that Congress pass stricter gun laws.


Since the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, demonstrations have sprung up on school campuses around the country. Students nationwide say they have been inspired by the surviving students’ ongoing advocacy.

Parkland students have given interviews and taken to social media, calling out politicians for not doing more to fix America’s gun violence problem. The students’ message resulted in Florida passing new gun laws raising the age for firearm purchases from 18 to 21, requiring a three-day waiting period, banning bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more like automatic ones, and giving police more power to seize weapons from people deemed mentally unfit.

The walkouts in Maine will look different at each school.

At Cape Elizabeth, Maine Gun Safety Coalition Executive Director Nick Wilson is scheduled to speak. Voter registration cards will be given out at several schools, including Greely High School in Cumberland, where a student will read a speech about gun control by former President Barack Obama. At Mount Desert Island High in Bar Harbor, students will try to hold hands and create a circle around the school building.

Maine student organizers say they will stay active beyond this week’s walkouts.

Several plan to participate in local March For Our Lives events on March 24, a national demonstration promoted by Parkland survivors. Others say they will organize efforts among students to call legislators and members of Congress. Mount Desert Island students say they plan, in the next few months, to march through Bangor to the offices of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin to urge them to vote for stricter gun laws.

Contact Noel K. Gallagher at 791-6387 or:

Twitter: noelinmaine

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