OPINION: The Walk Out

//HANNAH MCCLAIN//

Today, March 14, 2018 was the #NationalSchoolWalkoutDay. The planned walkout served as a means for students to leave their classes and walkout of the school for 17 minutes, to commemorate the lives of those lost during the Stoneman Douglas shooting one month ago.

As someone who did participate, it feels liberating to do something for what you personally believe in. Political opinions aside, the walkout was inspiring. Not only for the message, but because all around you could see people, (boys, girls, kids from every grade, faculty) gathering for the same reason. In which many students of Mountain Vista saw as an opportunity to come together.

It’s been said that the youth will lead this country and this planet to greater things, that they will be the ones to be the change in society and I completely agree. We have to use our young existence to demand change, IN ANYTHING!

We are living in a point in time where we are free to say, do, and act as we want. Protests like the one we witnessed today give us the platform to voice our opinions. But still many people seem to go unheard, scared their opinions are unpopular, scared of expulsion, suspension, worried that nothing will change or turnout like they had hoped.

More than anything, the walkout symbolized kids who simply want to go to school everyday with the assurance that they’re going to come out. The walkout was more than a protest against gun violence, it was a message, to whoever was open to listening, that we deserve a place free from harm, whatever that means and whatever measures it may take.

If we can’t grab the attention of the government, then we can grab the attention of each other. The value of human life is too great for this to go on any longer. Whether you think it’s a gun issue, or you think it’s a people issue, both opinions should coincide with each other to achieve the greater goal of making schools safer, and the nation stronger, and together.

Some say high school students are too young to understand issues of this matter and that they can’t fully grasp that they might not have as much influence compared to Congress. But as the song “Changes” by David Bowie says, “and these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.  

WHAT MATTERS IS THAT YOU ARE TAKING A STAND. If you have a voice, use it. This life is much too short and much too unpredictable for people to not take the chance to make a change with whatever they choose.

It’s taken far too long for the United States to come up with a viable solution for the problem because school shootings are still happening, the United States is nearing the two dozen mark, and we’re barely four months into 2018. For a shooting so devastating as the at Stoneman Douglas, if that’s what it took for people to finally say, out loud, that this is an issue that needs solving (which was something we already knew), we MUST jump at this opportunity now, and keep it going, until results are delivered. This isn’t political anymore. The bottom line is, as students, the fear that the worst has an actual possibility of happening.

We go to school to learn, to figure out what we want our lives to be, and to figure out how we think and what we think. From day one we are taught that we can do anything, achieve any and all of our goals, we can be who we want to be. It seems as though most people view past this, because it seems unrealistic on the surface, but WE CAN reach those goals. Instead of coming up with reasons not to try and make a change, we should be coming up with ideas of how we can work together to BE THE CHANGE.

Today, the students of Mountain Vista showed strength and unity, something everyone should be proud to be apart of. And whether you agree with what the protest stands for or not, you can’t deny it was an amazing thing to see so many people come together and take the time out of their day to stand up for something they believe in.

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