I will march because I, like many of my peers, am exhausted. I am exhausted of countless active shooter drills throughout the span of one week. I am exhausted of every door being locked tight, even just the rooms in the hallways. I am exhausted of thinking about my younger sibling, several states away, in regard to if he is safe or not. Every time my phone rings, I jump because I think he or my friends in other states have suffered at the hands of an active shooter. As my senior year comes to a close, my thoughts, and all the seniors around me, should be focused on college, on our jobs, and on our graduation. We should not have to think that as the intercom comes to life, we might have to run and hide. Our teachers are on edge and nervous, jumping at every knock on the doors or tensing as an announcement comes on for teachers to check their emails. I will march because I have been told it’s not my place to stand up for this, to leave it to others. I will march because I have been berated by my own family member for the fact that I do not want to live scared to attend school even though that is my right. Of course, there’s always the possibility that a shooting could happen anywhere. It could happen walking to a park, going to a movie, or even attending a concert. I still have a fear for even attending this rally to begin with, but I refuse to back down. This isn’t a moment, this is a movement that I plan to be part of as extensively as possible.
Older people, especially parents, might say this is not our fight. I disagree. This is the fight we will be winning no matter how many rallies it takes. No matter how many walk-outs. Fear has no place in a school. Sometimes, school can be the last place of safety a student has and the ever-constant and immediate threat of an active shooter disrupts that. We have a right to our education. We shouldn’t have to fight like this to have that basic right, but that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting. I look forward to the March this Saturday because it means I will be a part of something much greater than any one student. I will take pride in joining the movement of my generation to ensure safety for not only myself, but my baby brother who is still in elementary school, and all my underclassmen friends. When my brother, and all the kids of this generation’s grow up, they will tell the story of this Saturday when their siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, etc. stood up to something everyone told them not to and refused to back down. That’s how I want to be remembered.
How will I make a change in the world around me?
I Will March.