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Editor’s note: This is an editorial. Editorials do not reflect the view of all employees of the Collegian, but instead represent a stance taken by the Collegian’s editorial board, which consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the digital production manager, the news editors, the opinion editor, the sports editor and the arts and culture editors.
When hundreds of high school students walked out of their classroom Tuesday afternoon in response to a shooting in Parkland, Florida, we were in awe. We would like to offer our complete support of their demonstration. We wish we were that brave in high school.
We commend the bravery it took to walk out of an institution that has told them what to do since before they can remember, despite potential consequences. They walked in strength and not in fear. They flexed their political muscle. It took thought, organization and leadership.
They held a 17-minute moment of silence for the 17 victims in Parkland, Florida. They asked everyone in the crowd to try to meet 17 new people that day. They came in mass from every high school in the district. They came with middle school students.
It is no small task to stand up to “adults.” We know. And yet, they did it with grace.
The people who run this country right now didn’t have school shooter drills from the time they were 6 years old, but we did. They didn’t have all the information and conversations of the world sitting in the palm of their hand, but we do.
Let’s turn the conversation on its head. Let’s start by prioritizing the gun control conversations with these kids and tell the “adults” what we decide later. We are who this crisis is killing. Our friends. Our lives. Our country.
So, to our fellow millennials: If we’re the ones who are about to hold office, report the news and organize the rallies while these amazing kids protest, we need to listen, and we need to get to work.
To the high school and middle school students who walked out today: if you promise not to stop, we won’t either. We’ll keep fighting for solutions to today’s issues—our issues—with you.
Generation Z, thank you for inspiring us, but mostly, thank you for motivating us.