Guest Columnist

Everyone deserves to feel safe

HS journalism opinion: Listen to what students want, need

Hundreds of high school and middle school students gather in front of the White House in support of gun control in the wake of the Florida shooting on Wednesday. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Hundreds of high school and middle school students gather in front of the White House in support of gun control in the wake of the Florida shooting on Wednesday. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

It took three minutes.

Three minutes for 17 lives to be lost.

Seventeen last “I love yous” to their families. One gun, one shooter, 17 lives.

Think about it. What could you do in three minutes? Maybe start a load of laundry, wipe down the counter, have a quick chat with a friend, pet your dog.

Those 17 people will never get another chat with a friend, another time to carry their laundry basket to the washer, another “I love you” to their families.

They won’t get anything else, because their lives ended too soon.

It’s a cycle that keeps repeating, with a growing body count.

My whole life has been seen through a fog, one death after another. One shooting after another. A constant stream of news that never seems to get better.

One day I hope the fog will clear, so I can see the beautiful sun shine down on this world. A world where love can be love, and people can feel safe in their own skin. Their own school.

I know one day won’t come if we don’t fight. In elementary school, they teach us to think freely, to color outside the lines. Free your opinions. When middle and high school hit, and you’re told to sit, keep quiet and shove your opinions back down your throat.

Because at the end of the day, who cares? You’re just a kid.

Well those kids sat next to their dying friends, they watched them take their last breaths. And just like that, they were forced to grow up so quickly. Forced into a role they should have never even been close to being in. I want to scream “we are your kids! Do you not care about us! Do you care about your guns more?”

But then again, will anyone listen? I’m just a kid. I shouldn’t be thinking. Could I be next? At age 14, I shouldn’t have to be thinking where I should hide in my classroom if a shooter was to walk in. No child should have to think about that. No one should have to think “is this the last time I will see my parents?” before they leave for school.

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Those students want change. My peers want change. My heart skips a beat when I see people in the streets, speaking their mind. Those students are the future. And if you ignore the future, you won’t have a future to live in.

Something needs to change. I want kids to have a future. Everyone deserves the chats with friends, the laundry, the “I love yous”.

Everyone deserves to feel safe.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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