Weekly Feature

2018-03-08 / Editorial

Walkout can get the attention of political leaders

Come Wednesday, March 14, students around the United States will gather together in silence in an attempt to facilitate change.

Orchard Park High School will join with many other school districts across the nation to take part in the National School Walkout for 17 minutes of silence to remember those killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.

Since the shooting, students from the Florida high school have become household names in the national conversation advocating for gun control and a safer school environment in the wake of the shooting.

Now, students at Orchard Park High School have a chance to join that conversation and send a message to leaders in New York State that the current climate of guns and school safety isn’t acceptable. The students who have taken time out of their busy school schedules to organize this gathering should be commended for their commitment to civic duty and realizing that enough is enough when it comes to senseless gun violence in schools.

Frequently since the shooting in Parkland, it’s been students rather than some of the adults in the room who have been the ones bringing forth ideas and potential reform to correct an issue that has been out of hand for some time.

During the silent protest, which will be held at 10 a.m. at the high school, organizers will be circulating with a letter for students to sign to send to state and congressional representatives about what can be done about gun violence and safety in schools.

This is a significant step from the students at Orchard Park. It’s one thing to stand in silent solidarity with friends; it’s another to formalize a document and try to get through to elected leaders that what has been acceptable in the past cannot continue.

It may take time to see the impact that these protests around the country make as far as actual changes to laws and procedures, but everyone can observe that the youth in our communities are stepping up for what they believe is right and doing something about it.

They realized after Parkland that it’s time for some action, and now they’re going through all the channels to make that a reality.

If you go by a school on March 14 around the time of the walkout, take a moment to realize you’re seeing tomorrow’s leaders come together to right a wrong.

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