Surely everyone at least heard about the national walkout among American High Schools on March 14th, the day a month after fourteen teens and three adults were murdered in a school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School. My prinicipal called us all to the auditorium the morning of the walkout, and encouraged us to come down to that room and sit in silence. He treated it as though it was just a memorial and not also a way to press lawmakers to make stricter gun control laws. My principal said it would be unsafe, and due to the weather, that we should ‘make the right decision’ and go down there for ‘the right reasons.’ He told our teachers to not talk about the event to us, as he wanted it to be student driven, but how could a teacher regulated event possibly be considered student driven?
Around the country, students and teachers all walked out of their schools at 10:00 AM, unified. One group remembering and protesting to help remember those who were lost because of poor gun control laws. My school though? We weren’t allowed to participate - there were cops at our school. We would’ve gotten suspension if we had stood up for what we believe in, and joined the rest of our country in walking out, for protesting something important. Is that fair? Is it fair for students to not have the permission to make a difference in our country?
Having an opinion at school is like being a rabbit disguised to fit into a pack of wolves. You can’t make a peep, or you will be destroyed, the rabbit, will face more serious consequences, but we will be silenced. If your teachers, your principal don’t believe in what you say, you could be given detention, or even suspension for speaking up about something. Teachers aren’t allowed to talk about their opinions as it could influence students’ opinions, but they have opinions too and should be allowed to voice them. If a teacher believed that a school regulating the national walkout was unfair or unjust, they should be allowed to confront the principal and voice what they believe, but they’ll get fired.
During the walkout I wanted to do it right, even to be the only one to do so and go outside to stand up for something I believe in fearlessly, but did I? No, because I was afraid of the consequences and that. Fear. Fear of the consequences for doing something that will help people see what I believe in because of the weather? No. Because my principal doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about those other schools who suffer from school shootings, but only his own, which hasn’t. He doesn’t know the grief and the pain those parents have to deal with everyday without their children. He gets to be happy and go out to shoot with his kids. He gets to own the same kind of gun that killed those other kids. Sure, with better gun control laws, he’d probably still be allowed to own a gun, but he hardly even notices.
Gun control should be stronger. Shootings should not be so common in our country, nor should they be easily forgotten after another happens. With better gun control laws, less people with mental illnesses would be able to buy guns, and, in turn, less people would own and use their guns for shootings. Less innocent kids would lose their lives. More kids would feel safe going to school. The country would be safer and easier to live in happily for parents, teachers, and students all together as one.