On March 14th a National School Walkout was held in memory of the victims of the of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting where 17 students and staff were killed. For at least 17 minutes at 10 am across the country students, school staff, and supporters around even the world walked out of classes to honor those killed in the massacre and to protest gun violence. Each minute for all 17 minutes a victims name of the shooting was read out loud. I decided to participate in the walkout because I shouldn’t worry every time to announcements go on that its going to be an active shooter. I have had many different thoughts on what is happening in the world so I wrote them all down.
February 15th: What’s happening in the world right now is the question but I don’t even know what to answer because what is happening in the world right now? It is February 15th and yesterday on a day celebrating love there was a terrifying high school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Students woke up, just like any other day. Got dressed, just like any other day. Rushed to get to school on time, just like any other day. They were sitting in class, just like any other day. But yesterday was not just any other day. Yesterday February 14th 17 adults and students were killed. They were killed at school. A place that is part of your daily life for 12 major years of your life. You go to high school to start preparing for the rest of your life. But now 17 people who were preparing for the rest of their lives will never be able to see the future they have been working so hard to see. How are people not shaking right now? How do people not live in fear any more? I always thought that this kind of thing could never happen to me. My name and picture will never be on the tv of one of the victims of a mass shooting but, now this tragedy is becoming more and more frequent. People have told me you can’t live in fear because then they win. But how can you not live in fear in a place where there are so many shootings not even all of them make the news. It’s the fear of not knowing what is going to happen next. It’s the fear that we will have to lose more children before the government make a change. It's the constant state of fear we all live in. It’s the fear that I won’t be able to see the future I have been working so hard for. It’s a fear we shouldn’t have to fear.
February 19th: It has been 5 days since the shooting in Florida and we have continued to talk about it in different classes and each and every time my stomach goes into knots. It goes into knots because there are people out there who do not see the children getting killed the do not see the families struggling to go on with their lives because if they would have let their child stay home from school that day they would still be alive. When you look at all the victims and read their stories how does one's heart not break. I read the news articles I see the prayers but do facebook shares really help console a grieving family of their 16 year old daughter who was sitting in math class when she was gunned down. I don’t know what else to say today I just thought I should write out my thoughts.
February 26th: I have been thinking about gun control and all the “difficult” topics going around right now and I guess where I’m at is stuck. I know what you are thinking where is stuck. Well let me explain. I grew up with a police officer for a father. My dad has enjoyed hunting since he was a kid. Since my dad works around guns every day and hunts I have grown up around guns but never once I have I ever touched a gun without my dad right by me. It was important to my dad that we knew gun safety and how to properly use a gun. All of our guns in our house besides a bebe gun are locked up in a gun safe that only my dad has a the code too. He would at times take us target practicing or my brother and sister hunting (I have never had any interest in hunting) but we had to always follow all the safety instructions no matter what. So I have grown up around guns and it has not affected me personally. But I’m stuck because if guns are killing so many people why has nothing been done. I am not saying take away all guns I’m saying gun control. I saying this as a teenage girl who has used a gun but had to go through many hours of training with my dad.
March 5th: So now the question every student across America is facing is “Do I walkout”? This question is coming to us because students across the country are demanding change. For some kids it’s an easy yes, for others they don’t know, and for some it’s a no. I’m a strong believer in that everyone gets to decide what they want. I overheard one student say “I don’t want to get judged for walking out” others have said “This is just an excuse for kids to skip class”, But to all those people I just have to say stand up for what you believe in. Be the change you want to see. I personally have also struggled with this topic. I want to see change because I fear what will happen if we don’t see change but I have also never seen myself as an activist. I guess I will really just have to decide that day.
March 14th - 9:15 am: Today marks one month since the shooting. And as I am sitting in ceramics class right now I think I’m going to walk out. I don’t know why I have decided this way I am just going with my gut.
March 14th - 10:23 am: I walked out. I walked out because I got this feeling that this is something I should be apart of. I wasn’t just doing it to skip class because I was the class I missed was study hall. I did it because I am a student who has feared code blacks since kindergarten. When we would have a drill I would go into full panic mode. My parents would talk to me about the drill that was going to happen at school the next day but I would still panic. As I grew older I realized that this kind of thing was probably never going to happen but it was just something the school did. Now as I have grown even older the fear has set in again because, I am aware of what is happening in the world and it scares me. So I took this opportunity to try and make a difference. I am so happy I made this decision to walkout because, something needs to happen so students don't have to worry about where they are going to hide, run, or scream during an active shooter. Students should feel safe.
Thank you for reading my thoughts throughout the past month. The world is scary and I just needed to think through some things. For me the best way to think is to write.