While participating in the recent school walkout, a cold reality hit me. Although there were some politically conscious people practicing their first amendment rights, the others walked out for all of the wrong reasons, starting with eagerness to skip class, and making school shootings and lack of gun control a “Black” thing. Let me be the one to educate you all.
First: The purpose of this walk out was to stand in solidarity and honor victims of the several school shootings taking place in 2018. The initial goal was to walk out of class for 17 minutes in remembrance of the most recent shooting of 17 students killed on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. If we have a chance to spark change and reform by exercising our God-given right of freedom of speech and using our political voice, why not take advantage? It’s not about publicity, it’s not about what makes the school look good. What more could we do with a perfect opportunity such as this to exercise our rights, and to do our civic duties? Many of us aren’t 18, with that being said, if we can’t vote, we can sure enough protest and be an influence to the people who we know that plan to vote.
Second: The sole purpose of this protest was not to just commemorate the Black lives lost due to the lackluster gun control policies. Last time I checked, Black lives weren’t the only lives lost in the 14 documented school shootings of 2018. Just like my other colored brothers and sisters, we support the Black Lives Matter Movement and we also seek justice for the Black lives lost to gun violence, BUT we’re not focusing on the purpose of the point of the walkout. The walk out to honor victims and protest gun control policies is not a race thing. This is a national problem that needs to be rectified for all races.
Third: To everyone that used this walk out to advertise your poem, get more followers, and receive media attention you clearly missed the point of this political demonstration.
Next time, be socially conscious, politically aware, and respectful before you participate in a walkout. Use your political voice boldly and loudly!
By Jada Daniel, Junior, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep