Adults walk over the walkout


Emma Bernick

On Mar. 14, schools across the nation took part in a walkout aimed to end gun violence.

Kate Kealey, Editor in Chief

On Wednesday Mar. 14, nine students, including myself, arranged a walkout against school violence on West’s band field.  We met for a total of 20 hours within the five days before the walk out, making posters, ribbons, and writing speeches. Over 150 students marched onto the field ready to fight for what they felt was right and armed with bright, orange signs with messages of peace and love.

Inspirational music was played to fire up the crowd even more. As I was observing the sea of students all coming together to voice their opinions that are so often ignored, I failed to see the bounty of cars taking their time to flip off the crowd as they drove by.

While standing in awe at the people who were so moved to leave their busy schedules to participate, out of the corner of my eye I saw a man with a walker and an orange vest, much like the color of our signs, walk by. I made the mistake of thinking he came to support the movement only to find out he came to combat our beliefs.

I continued to listen to the speeches about positivity and justice, and so I failed to hear the recorded sounds of gunshots coming from the back of the crowd.

The walkout ended with the crowd chanting “stop the violence, end the silence.”

I can honestly say after it was all done, I was extremely proud of what the nine of us put together in five days. It gave me hope for change, not only for the end of gun violence in schools, but for the possibility of respect for everyone, no matter their beliefs.

After being interviewed by local news media,  my team went into the school to hear students scream at us as we walked away, “you will never take away my gun. I love my gun.” When I heard this, I just rolled my eyes knowing that they probably assumed the protest was about gun control and did not read our signs or listen to our words as we all spoke about our hopes for a safer future.

As I walked  down the halls, I would overhear students,  “you will never change anything,” “What’s the point.”. I went through the rest of my day, growing more and more discouraged. I went home to find my mom watching a video of the the movement. I became excited to see that we made the news.

I attempted to watch the footage of the protest, but failed because so many viewer comments were popping up over the video, so I was only able to listen. The comments ranged from, “Those kids should be in detention” to “Brainwashed liberal puppets is all they are. Liberals use children because they are so easily brainwashed and will do their bidding. Wake up children you are being used for the fools that you are.”

I could not believe my eyes. The fact that adults would take the time to leave paragraphs of hate just because they do not agree with what we teenagers believe. Now, I for one do not see myself as a “fool” and am less than a year away from being 18. I am extremely tired of adults refusing to take high schoolers seriously just because we do not have the label of “adulthood” yet, and it should not give them the right to discard our opinions because of it.

News flash: these “puppets” are the future of America, and this walk out shows that we are not scared to stand up against anyone, even angry adults on Facebook.

The truly sad part to me is that our walkout was not about gun control and it was not taking a  political side. It was about ending gun violence in schools.

I expected some backlash and I am open to discuss with people who do not agree with me, but what upsets me most is that the backlash is from people who do not understand the goals of the walkout and do not care to either.

Soon enough I and everyone else at the walk out will be able to vote, and to me that makes much more of a difference than sitting at a computer screen complaining about what’s wrong with the world.

But I guess I am just some foolish teenager that nobody will listen to anyways.