This post is excerpted from the
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By far the most encouraging part of the Parkland-massacre aftermath has been the resilience of the MS Douglas High School students, their commitment to seeing this time be the last time. There’s a march in Washington later this month, and grassroots efforts are pushing companies to divest from the NRA and politicians to foreswear the organization’s blood money. Even the president, who accepted more than $30 million from the NRA, is now toying with reforms. That’s not a credit to Donald Trump, but rather an example of a politician bending to the will of a movement. And while most of the reforms being bandied about are unlikely to ever make it through Congress, there’s a sense that the ground is nonetheless shifting. Millennials—and Generation Z, which is what I think we’re calling this cohort of kids—aren’t taking this shit anymore. As an example, more than two thousand students at Green Hope High School in Cary—hardly a hotbed of activism—walked out yesterday afternoon to demand change
WHAT IT MEANS:
- From the N&O: “The majority of Green Hope’s 2,900 students walked out of the Cary school to gather on the football field and hear from fellow students and elected officials who called for changes such as stronger gun-control laws. Some of the most impassioned pleas Wednesday during the 75-minute walkout came from two Green Hope students who used to attend Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed on Feb. 14. ‘This is not a political issue that we should be divided on, but one that should unite us to strive towards a common goal,’ said Green Hope student Deb Bhattacharya, who fought back tears as she recalled her former Florida classmates. ‘Never again should any school go through the pain that Parkland is facing still. We must spark that change. We must push for reform and be a part of something bigger than ourselves.’”
- “On Wednesday, Green Hope staff also left the building to monitor the students, who were holding signs with slogans such as ‘We Demand Change.’ Students recited multiple chants: ‘Two, four, six, eight, Congress must legislate!’ ‘How strong! Douglas strong!’ ‘Spread love, not hate, we just want to graduate.’”
- “More school walkouts are expected in Wake County and throughout the nation. The Women’s March Network has called for students around the country to walk out on March 14 for 17 minutes–one minute for each person killed at Stoneman Douglas. Students from at least two Wake schools, Apex High and Apex Friendship High, have announced they plan walkouts on March 14. With students at many other schools also expected to hold events, Wake school officials are telling students they won’t be punished for the protests if they work ahead of time with their principals to make sure the events are safe.”
Too often after these massacres, the headlines fade and we all move on, giving cowardly politicians the space not to act. These students—these kids—are making sure they have no quarter, and that’s incredibly impressive.
Walmart, the country’s largest gun seller, and Dick’s Sporting Goods raised their minimum ages for gun-buyers to twenty-one
, and Dick’s announced that it would no longer sell assault rifles or high-capacity magazines.
A Georgia teacher who students say exhibited weird behavior was accused of firing a gunshot in a high school classroom
. (Talk to me again about how we should arm teachers.)