Student Walkout Demonstrates Unified Commitment to Change


Samantha Cornett, Editor in Chief

Nearly a month after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which killed seventeen students and faculty members, students around the country decided to have a nationwide walkout today, Mar. 14, at 10am.

According to the plan, students were to walk out of class with no warning and go outside for seventeen minutes to represent the seventeen lives that were lost that day. The walkout was designed to urge congress to come up with solutions for stricter gun laws.

The walkout, while contentious, was an amazing way for students to become more involved with world issues, particularly fatal acts of violence. The seventeen lives that were lost deserve to be recognized as victims of the shooting. To properly recognize them, the walkout did not become a free ticket out of class for students; instead, it was a serious time of silence representing those who were lost and a visible reminder to congress that students want things to change.

The administration did not explicitly tell students the exact punishment of participating in the walkout, but they did provide alternative ideas on how to be involved. These ideas, however, were not adequate, nor did they truly address the heart of the walkout. The reason the walkout was appealing to students was because it happened simultaneously around the nation. We want to stand unified as a nation, not as a single school.

Moreover, the larger purpose of the walkout is to push congress to consider stricter gun laws, not simply a memorial. If as many schools and students participated as expected, congress will be forced notice that there are people from younger generations who want to see change in their country. The political statement shows that we as students will stand up for what we believe in. Stricter gun laws can make a great change in the country and reduce the number of mass shootings that take place.

Of course, one school walkout day is not going to radically change the entire country. Even with stricter gun laws, there is always the possibility of more mass shootings. They do not just disappear because guns are harder to get; nevertheless, I think having the walkout effectively drew more attention to the topic for congress. Ultimately, representing the lives that were taken at Stoneman Douglas High School is a compelling solution to the violence in our country. Students’ opinions deserve to be heard, especially when they stand together as one nation.