On March 14, thousands of high schools across the nation participated in the #neveragain or #enough school walk out in protest of recent events relating to the horrific Stoneman Douglas High School shooting earlier this year. These students chose to collectively leave their classrooms and march to remember the 17 people killed in the violent attack, as well as speak their minds on gun control and guns in schools.
February 14, 2018 saw one of the deadliest mass shootings in our country's history. Seventeen students in Parkland, Florida were killed as a fellow classmate fired shots throughout the high school. The killer, 19 year old Nikolas Cruz, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 attempted murders.
Following this attack, President Donald Trump gave his thoughts and prayers to the families of those killed and introduced a proposal to arm teachers with guns in schools to prevent this from happening again. The students at Stoneman Douglas were unsatisfied with this solution and sought to take actions themselves. Personally organizing marches, creating the advocacy group 'Never Again MSD,' and meeting with the President, these brave students are saying they've had #enough.
March 14 saw thousands of Parkland's peers stand up in support of their message. One of the schools to participate was my local high school, Glenbard West in Illinois. The students personally organized to walk around the school's outdoor track for 17 minutes and set up 17 empty desks on the football field with the names of those killed in the Parkland shooting to remember them. I was fortunate enough to be home for spring break and I was able to see their incredible actions. I'd be lying if I said it didn't bring tears to my eyes to see so many young adults stand together to raise awareness.
Junior Maggie Pasterz, a student at Glenbard West, participated in the walk out alongside hundreds of her fellow classmates. To Maggie the march means she finally has a chance to get a say in what goes down in the deciding of legislation that concerns her own safety. It means that even if she has no vote, she still has a voice. Like many others students across the nation, the goal of these walkouts is to not only commemorate the lives of those lost during school shootings, but to see tighter gun control laws—especially concerning semi-automatic weapons—and acknowledge student voices that have been suppressed in the past.
Photo taken by Maggie Pasterz at the Glenbard West walkout.
There are several other national school walk outs planned for the remainder of the year, including March 24 and April 20. Hopefully seeing so many young adults stand up for those who can't will send a message to congress to make the appropriate changes necessary to #neveragain see a school shooting in the United States.