Over and over and over again
In a moment, everything can change.
In a moment, your whole life can be turned upside down.
In a moment, life can begin. Or it can end.
I remember the moment that I had heard about the Boston Marathon bombing. I had just stepped foot off a plane in Orlando. Walking out of the jet bridge, I had realized that the airport was the quietest it had ever been, with the exception of a news report. I looked for my dad, who had stopped and was watching the nearest television. I turned my head, and immediately felt a wave of dread sweep over me as I watched the footage.
That same sense of dread emerged when I first read about the Parkland shooting. And when I heard about the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. And the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007.
Humanity’s capacity for evil amazes me sometimes.
But what really amazes me is the fact that people want to arm teachers with guns. Fight fire with fire right?
Is the way to fight hatred by filling people with more hatred? What does this teach students? Should younger gen- erations be raised to live with the constant reminder that their lives could be snuffed out in an instant?
But this column isn’t about my opinions on gun control, although I’m sure that you can guess how I feel about it.
I first heard about National Walk-Out Day on March 14 from my roommate; her hometown high school was partici- pating in a walk-out. My own high school did something a little different. Instead of walking out of the school building itself, students walked out of classrooms and assembled
in the auditorium for a special event allowing students to read poetry or essays they wrote and speak their minds, recognizing the necessity for change. It was a voluntary assembly; students left their classrooms at 10 a.m. without an announcement over the intercom and just gathered together to listen to their peers. Videos circulated Twitter of the students expressing their opinions, labeled with the hashtag #neveragainmovement. It was a constructive way for students to let their voices be heard.
I’m very proud of the way that my high school chose to respond to gun violence in schools. Although the walk-outs around the country forced adults to pay attention to the message that students were trying to get across, I felt that the way that my high school conducted themselves was
just as effective. It was a student-led public display showing their very real concerns for students across the country. It showed that younger generations are taking into account how they see the need for change in the world and how they want society to view them.
I, for one, am glad to see that students are recognizing that they have a voice; it isn’t just up to adults to run the world that they’re living in. Not only are they seeing how easily they can speak their minds, but they’re also showing adults that they’re people too. Throughout history, younger gen- erations have always been looked down on by older genera- tions. Hopefully, in time the older generations will come to respect what young people are saying. Maybe they’ll recog- nize a piece of themselves in younger people. But until then, we should all keep speaking our minds in order to make a change.
Rebecca Galib, a senior, studies English and music. She is the Assistant Editor-in-Chief ofLe Provocateur.