Recent shootings spur student action

In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, FL, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students took to the streets. In an effort to force change, students left school and marched through the streets of D.C. chanting and calling for a time without the threat of more school shootings. They refused to be silenced after 17 people were killed and 14 were injured in the shooting on Feb. 14.
Students marched for change, signaling that enough was enough with gun violence. On Feb. 21, with signs in hand, students rallied starting from Union Station, moving to the Capitol and ending in front of the White House. As part of the #Enough movement, students declared how they needed to put an end to the shootings that have become an all too common sight in this country. “I wanted to go to the march to show my support for gun control because I think it’s super important to end the violence. Students shouldn’t be afraid to go to school,” senior Gabi Menconi said.

Those who participated believed that they had a duty and responsibility to speak up about this issue and demand change given how close the school is to D.C.. It was a way for students to voice their discontent with the system that has allowed these tragedies to occur.

In response to hearing about the walk out, Superintendent Jack Smith wrote an email to the MCPS community showing his encouragement toward the peaceful protest. “MCPS strongly supports students who engage in the civic process and share thoughts on the issues they are passionate about,” Smith said.

On Feb. 26, a meeting was held during lunch for members of the “Wootton for Gun Control,” a new group that has formed dedicated to creating change surrounding gun violence and prevention. The 75 students in attendance aimed to spark necessary conversations about gun control and be leaders of change both in this community and throughout the country. The meeting began with students sharing their opinions on the Parkland shooting and discussing what changes need to arise to prevent these attacks from recurring. “We are all here because we are scared. We are all terrified that someone can just walk into our school and start shooting. Our responsibility is to take a stand and do something about it,” senior Avery Tarwater said.

The group plans to raise awareness and educate the community on their stance for stricter gun laws. Plans are in development to create a sign containing the names of every victim of a school shooting since the killings at Sandy Hook in addition to sending cards or a poster to those affected by the recent Florida shooting. As part of the #Enough movement, students advocating for such change will participate in a 17 minute walk out on March 14 at 10 a.m. to represent the 17 lives lost in the Parkland shooting. The walk out represents a call to Congress to do more than merely send thoughts and prayers to the victims and those affected, demanding a more active approach to stop gun violence throughout the country.

It has become clear that the student voices supporting gun control demand to be heard and their efforts to promote change will not cease. They want more than thoughts and prayers, they want action.

 

Matthew Lind

Back Page Editor

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