MEDIA CONTACT: Katie Hoeppner, (505) 266-5915 x1013 or

“The tragic mass shootings of the last two decades have caused tremendous pain and suffering for students nationwide. Today, on the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School, we stand with students and teachers who choose to walk out and exercise their freedom of speech about a matter that affects them personally and deeply,” said ACLU of New Mexico Executive Director Peter Simonson.  “The Supreme Court affirmed nearly five decades ago that students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This means that schools cannot punish students more harshly for leaving school to protest than they could for any other reason. Moreover, we hope that school administrators choose to use moments like these as opportunities to foster students’ sense of civic engagement, rather to punish them for demanding justice.”