While flipping through the major news outlets tonight, I stumbled upon an interview on MSNBC with two students from Parkland, Florida. I was immediately struck by these two young women and the message they are sending out into the world.
#NeverAgain is a movement born in Parkland as a response to the most recent school shootings to plague the United States. The students in Parkland have been very vocal since the shooting last week and are organizing a march in Washington, D.C.
This isn’t the first that I’d heard of these students, as a matter of fact, one of these young women tweeted the President last week and I was extremely impressed with her composure. This is, however, the first that I had heard that the students were organizing. How fantastic?!
Now, regardless of how you feel about gun laws and gun control, I think the fact that these young people are well-spoken enough, forward-thinking enough, composed enough, passionate enough, and determined enough to organize not only a march but a social media campaign, is remarkable and inspiring. I’m hopeful that these young people get to shed some light on this issue and how desperately we need to work to resolve it.
Here’s an excerpt from an essay written by a different student from Parkland, Taryn Hibshman.
We cannot let this happen again. We are united and we are stronger than ever before. We will not be silenced. We will channel our anger and our sadness into motivation to change the society that allowed this to happen. Never again should children fear going to school. Never again should we spend our Saturdays at funerals. Never again should anyone feel how my community, my home, feels right now. NEVER AGAIN.
So, you might be reading this and thinking…
Well, you should because these young people are extremely inspiring and give me hope for the future of this country. When there is a group of people in their teens who are saying more than our elected officials and who are standing up and firmly demanding answers, I think it’s time to listen and take notes.
I don’t know any adults who could or would do what these amazing young Americans are doing to better this country. Regardless of politics, this is pretty extraordinary.
Now, I know you’re thinking,
“But…what about the politics?”
And to that, I would say that this issue has many sides, not just red and blue. This conversation is incredibly sensitive, difficult, and multi-faceted. But, consider this: If these students enlist the help of law enforcement, parents, counselors, area businesses, and local political leaders, they could make real change for their community and that could resonate across the country.
These young people give me hope and I’m excited beyond words to see where this movement goes.
On A Side Note:
A White House aide remarked that all of the media focus on the shooting in Parkland is a ‘reprieve’ from its focus on the domestic violence scandals surrounding the White House (Parker & Rucker, 2018). This is an adult working in the White House while children are grieving in Florida while simultaneously organizing a movement. Maybe that will put some of this in perspective for you.
Amatulli, J. (2018, February 19). Siblings From Parkland High School Write Essays To Say ‘Never Again’. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/parkland-high-school-siblings-essay_us_5a8aef59e4b05c2bcacdbb9b
Parker, A., & Rucker, P. (2018, February 19). For the weary White House, Florida shooting offered a ‘reprieve’ from scandals. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-the-weary-white-house-florida-shooting-offered-a-reprieve-from-scandals/2018/02/19/04293442-158a-11e8-92c9-376b4fe57ff7_story.html?utm_term=.57be6de60acb