October 7, 2022

Not one more: students take stand for Parkland 17

Heartbroken and angry, thousands of students across the nation finally decided to start taking matters into their own hands – pleading to their government – and there looks to be no stopping them.
In response to the mass shooting in Florida, students had seen enough violence and were tired of living fear that they would be the next school, so instead of learning how to run from a shooter, they decided to walk for gun control.
At 10 AM on March 14, students, united by love and agony, interrupted their studies and walked out of school demanding stricter gun control, while paying respect and homage to the fallen victims of the Parkland shooting.
“How many more?”
“Enough is enough.”
“Will I be next?”
“Will I be texting my mother from underneath a desk?”
These statements were marked on picket boards, as students held signs designed to rely a simple message, “Never again, enough is enough.”
The students’ expression of passion was unique to how they felt inside.
Raising their voices and concerns, the students rallied together for a 17-minute protest, a minute for each Parkland victim. However, some schools chose to discipline their students, while others either helped, or looked the other way.
Whether schools had the right to punish these students is call for concern, especially since it could infringe upon their first amendment rights, but upon doing some research, I was able to find an article that dived into that topic.
Alexia Campbell wrote an article for Vox titled, “Students have a right to protest gun violence, but they can’t disrupt class,” in which she referred to the Supreme Court decision Tinker v. Des Moines.
“In the Court’s decision, the justices said that school administrators cannot punish students merely for expressing political views. They can only discipline students if their speech or actions cause ‘material’ or ‘substantial’ disruption to school function,” wrote Campbell.
After talking to several students on their opinions on the student walkout, many responded with hope for change in gun control, others saw it as a flawed attempt to change the unchangeable, and some wanted gun control to remain the same.
Even though the opinions of the NCC student body were mixed, the idealism that these students had of a gun-free world would expand into something even more.
Once again, the students of America, joined by many others, gathered for the March For Our Lives campaign in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 24 where they expressed their emotions, as well as their sorrows.
Among those who spoke at March For Our Lives rally, were survivors of the Parkland shooting, David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez.
“When politicians say that your voice doesn’t matter because the NRA owns them, we say ‘no more,’” Hogg said, as the audience joined him.
Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke at the rally, reminding us of a dream her grandfather once had, and one she held in her heart.
“My grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of the skin, but the content of their character. I have a dream that enough is enough, and that this should be a gun-free world, period,” said King.
On the March For Our Lives website, “Not one more. We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school,” as the beginning of their powerful mission statement to end gun violence.
Although many oppose gun reform, especially those who are big supporters of the NRA and the second amendment, we as a nation must come together to see that we have many issues – other than gun control – that need to be fixed.
Problems like bullying, which contribute to psychological warfare in students, is still affecting many students and no one is speaking up for them or protesting or anti-bully laws. Instead, videos of bullies are uploaded and viewed by many students. The same students who watch fellow students get bullied and do, or say, nothing.
Believing in a future without guns or student violence is a marvelous idea and we should continue to pursue it. However, change can only come when we realize that we are the change.

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