Peaceful protests

Students should be empowered to have a voice

In reference to the shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14, Fla. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted “…We smear those who refuse to agree with us. We claim a Judea-Christian heritage but celebrate arrogance and boasting. And worst of all we have infected the next generation with the same disease.”

colton mccracken / senior photographer

colton mccracken / senior photographer

Rubio referred to the students speaking out against gun violence and school shootings as “arrogant” as if speaking up for your safety is a sickness. Call students by any name you want, but they are the future of this country. It is important that students are aware of what is going on in the world around them because one day, they will be the ones calling the shots. Even though many student protestors who are speaking out against gun violence and school shooting sare not old enough to vote, they are old enough to have their voices be heard.

If students are the ones being affected by school shootings, then why shouldn’t their input be heard and considered by those in power to make a change? If students are demanding action, the government should listen and implement alterations to the problem at hand

On March 14, one month after the Parkland, Fla. shooting, students across the nation walked out of their high schools at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. The 17 minutes signified the 17 students who lost their lives during the shooting. On Saturday, March 24, numerous March For Our Lives events were held across the nation. From Washington D.C., to right here in Keene, people took to the streets to stand up for stricter gun laws and to stop school shootings. The march was organized by students who attended Stoneman Douglas High School, where the fatal Feb. 14 shooting occurred.

Students are stepping to the forefront about these issues because a change clearly needs to be made and no one is doing anything about it. Now more than ever, these issues need to be addressed and students are the ones realizing it. But students don’t know everything about guns and gun violence, nor do they claim to. What they to know is  enough is enough and something needs to happen in order to prevent these tragedies from ever happening again.

Millennials receive so much criticism for always being on their phones and being too involved in social media, and when they finally come together for a good cause, they receive even more backlash for standing up for themselves. If other people put themselves in the shoes of a current student, they would hopefully be able to empathize and realize the good that these kids are doing.

Students of all ages, from kindergarten to high school, attended the March For Our Lives events on March 24. While pictures of elementary-age students attending these events may seem heartbreaking, it is extremely encouraging. By recognizing that there is an issue and realizing that they can use their voices to make a difference, students are working towards solving the problem. By gathering together and acting as one strong, unified system, students are beginning to make the change that so desperately needs to take place.

By organizing marches, walk outs and other forms of peaceful protests, students are making their voices heard. They realize the importance of expressing themselves and working together with a common goal to put an end to these tragedies. Politicians and members of the government do not have the right to critique students and call them “arrogant” for speaking their mind and working together towards a common good. The work that students are putting in now is changing the lives of future students for the better.