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On March 24th I got on the train to New York City,  I sat down breaking off pieces of ribbon and punching holes through little pieces of paper that I printed out. But that piece of paper was not just that, instead it was a price tag that showed the worth of a student.

One of the Parkland survivors Sarah Chadwick posted this template on twitter so I decided to print them out to share with fellow students. Reading the inscription shocked me. How could a life be worth a buck-o-five? When did we begin to mean so little to the people around us, how could priceless lives be worth just this?

Photo by Brianna Adkins

I handed them out to each of my classmates, and some friends I made on the train, tied white ribbons around their wrists and explained to them the significance of the amount. For some it was their first time attending a march, some I forced the day before to just come. I had organized this trip to get students to come out and show support and be a part of the movement.

I put price tags on friends, future teachers, daughters, sons, siblings, advisors, and kids. I put price tags on kids. Now days later I realize that for all the victims in Parkland, their price in total was $17.85 and I marched with their “worth” on my wrist. I marched with my hand held high for everyone to see. A worth summed up by the total amount of students enrolled in Florida divided by the amount of money Marco Rubio receives from the NRA.  

Photo by: Tyler Kalahar

I got asked throughout the day “What does that mean?” or “What’s on your wrist?” and after giving the same response “It’s what I’m worth” shock and disbelief were the reactions I would see. This price tag was the biggest burden I carried as I marched seven miles down the streets of Manhattan, and I’m not even including the sign, bullhorn, and backpack I was carrying too.   

So like the millennial I am I took to Twitter and posted this and by the first few minutes of it being posted my phone began to blow up like crazy. Notifications were pouring in “Delany Tarr” retweeted your post! There I screamed, the girl with the cool glasses, the badass survivor saw me! Then there was more, Sarah Chadwick, then another thousand, Emma González and then I began to cry.

 

These people, the ones who inspired me to march, to stop being afraid, to start taking action saw me. They heard my voice and saw that I was listening,  knew that I put their price on my wrist so I could stand with them and help take the burden off their backs. The people who I marched for and designed my poster after knew and it felt all the more worth it.

 

So when asked “how much are you worth?” did you know, or did you think it was a rhetorical question? I know I’m worth so much more, but why did I let this number define me? This number is not for everyone, it is specific for students in Florida. What is your number where you live? Well, you can do what the Parkland students did and divide the number of students that live in your state with the amount of money your senator or congressman has received from the NRA.

​The time to take action is now and it can be done in many ways. The first step is to register to vote if you are eighteen or older. Demand change from the people in power and if they do not provide it place someone in their position who will. Keep being vocal and recognize that the children that attended these marches all over the country are up next to vote. Now I leave you with the words of Yolanda King, “spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation. We are going to be a great generation!”      

 

Young college student writing about justice, memes and all things important while trying to get 8 hours of sleep.
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