The effects of horrific school shootings are felt by students who feel unsafe in their schools and communities. Students all over the country have decided to do something about it by fighting for legislation changes any way they can.
On Mar. 14 students were excused from their classes to go outside for 17 minutes of silence for the 17 victims of the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida. This event went from about 10 a.m. during period three until the end of fourth period at 11 a.m. Students were given the option to remain in their classes or walk out to the field at the stadium. However, those students who were eager to speak their minds to the government decided to go to Washington, D.C. and join the March on Washington.
Those who went to D.C. either took the Metro or drove straight to D.C.. Students came together from areas all around D.C. to fight for change to demand legislators to move to the forefront of their agenda. The protest took form as students gathered in front of the White House for 17 minutes of silence. Afterwards students marched together to the Capitol Building, holding signs and singing chants to protest gun violence.
Those who went to the protest in D.C. instead of the protest that MCPS created at the schools were marked absent for their afternoon classes that they missed. Only the walkout to the field could be excused because students remained on school property. There is fallout from the protest because students, such as junior Carly Ross, feel it is unfair that they are being marked absent because they are standing up for what they believe and expressing their rights as Americans. “Educators are supposed to encourage us to achieve great things in our lives, so it doesn’t make sense that we are being marked unexcused for attending something far more significant to our lives than one afternoon of school,” Ross said.
One of the ways that students are expressing their frustration with gun violence and the government’s inability to change gun laws is through social media. A Twitter account called @moco4guncontrol is designated to release information to continue the fight against guns and decrease the chance of gun violence. The account has already gained more than 2,000 followers and the follower count continues to increase by the day. Information is posted on the account to keep students up to date with the legislative fight for gun control. This includes discussing meetings between high school students and legislators and what those meetings have accomplished.
With social media in the forefront of teenage communication, students like senior Andrew Espejo are continuing to take advantage of the political platform that social media provides. “I like Tweeting about politics once in a while for my own issues with government laws so I really support this account and the persistent way students are trying to bring about change,” Espejo said.