Adults fail to act, students take charge


We are absolutely disturbed that none of us are surprised regarding this latest incident, an unfortunate truth of life in this country. We are all aware of the horrible school shooting that took place on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But just in case, here is what you need to know: a deranged former student pulled the fire alarm so his fellow teenagers would run outside. He then massacred 17 who had been his mentors and peers.

That is the what, and frankly discussing his gruesome actions in further detail would grant him infamy he does not deserve.

Now let’s talk about the who. Among the 17 murdered was Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach. He suffered gunshots to his torso and legs while protecting students with his body.

He died on the surgery table. His coworkers said that he died the way he lived, putting himself second.

Another victim was Peter Wang, a sophomore. Peter was a member of JROTC, a program for potential military officers. He died holding open a door for his classmates as bullets repeatedly struck him. He saved dozens of his fellow students and has been admitted post posthumously to West Point in recognition of his incredible sacrifice.

Feis wasn’t the only member of the faculty to be caught by the murderous bullets. Geography teacher Scott Beigel was gunned down while pushing students back into his classroom and locking the door. He was a camp counselor, an active member of the school community, and reportedly a favorite of the students.

These are just three names; there are 14 more. They all deserved better, but our leaders are unable to protect us. We are familiar with the pattern after mass shootings. People are outraged. People call on their leaders, those leaders distract, and we move on. This vicious cycle has become a part of American life.

But this time feels different. This time, it could easily have been us. Wherever you are, try this exercise right now.

Picture leaving second period. Maybe you’re going to the senior tree, maybe it’s the canteen, Devonshire, Saunders, or anywhere else on campus. Who are you meeting there? Picture your squad.

These people are your best friends. These are the people you will reconnect with when you come home from college at winter break.

Now picture one less person in that circle, two less, maybe even three. You will never be able to talk to them again.

That is what’s at stake if we, as students, fall silent again. Through adult inaction we play the odds with our lives, the lives of our teachers, and the lives of our best friends. Let’s stop assuming it could never happen to us.

A group of students on campus  organized a school wide walkout on March 14 in accordance with the March for Our Lives movement started by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. March to show that you aren’t willing to gamble with your life by just going to school.

March to honor the victims of this terrible tragedy. March for gun reform, for better mental healthcare, or against social isolation.

Simply put, march if you feel that you can’t let this terrible cycle continue. Above all, stay engaged. If older generations aren’t willing to take action to protect us, let’s do it ourselves.