While Parkland survivors confronted lawmakers this morning in Tallahassee, taking a stand against gun violence, their fellow peers proudly marched out of their classrooms. Today, February 21st, 2018, high school students throughout the state of Florida orchestrated walkouts in protest of the devastating mass shooting that took the innocent lives of 17 students and staff members from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This tragic incident has greatly impacted the youth of America, and it has resurfaced an already divided debate on gun control. Although the severity of this tragedy is overwhelming, there is hope. This spur of activism demonstrated by Floridian students is both refreshing and promising because one day these young men and women will be the leaders of our nation.
Mass shootings in America have sadly become a frequent occurrence, and many students feel unrepresented by our nation’s government. For the sake of their safety, and sanctity of their future, they felt compelled to make their concerns known. I believe that to be the original motive of this massive protest, but I also believe that many students took this as an excuse to skip class; not participating for change, but for their own leisurely benefit.
Protests in Parkland Florida called for larger disruptions. Many students within the county left school grounds and marched to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, chanting and holding signs that displayed their urgent call for justice and representation.
Minor rallies, such as the one that occurred at my high school in Central Florida, involved students initiating two walkouts during the day; both times they gathered in the courtyard for the length of a class period. A few students took this opportunity to share with the student body their reasoning for participating in the walkout. Others shamelessly snap chatted the event, expressing their rather unpolitical motive for taking part in the movement: a free pass to get out of class.
Although not all students participated for the right reasons, the underlying intention of the walkout is proof of the passion our youth has for a safer America. Hopefully lawmakers can reach a solution that satisfies our need for security while also protecting the Second Amendment.