Maryam Akramova and Jim Schueneman
Lance Opinion Editor and Lance Editor-in-Chief
Since March 24, 2018 there have been 17 school shootings according to CNN. Elementary schools around the country teach children to lock the doors, turn off the lights and hide. One rural district in Pennsylvania decided that arming classrooms with a bucket of rocks would keep students safe, according to NBC news.
Students are now burdened with a fear that seems to be plaguing our nation. School violence is a problem that students see firsthand. It’s affecting us, and we deserve to be heard about how we feel about the issue. However, just being heard won’t help stop school violence, our opinions need to be taken into account and action needs to be taken. School is a learning environment, but the fear of violence seems to be hanging over all of us.
Around the country, young people have attended rallies, written to their legislators and marched on Washington. We have been heard. Local and National news sites appear to be covering many stories about the walkouts. The time for listening is over, it’s time for our legislation to take action. Students shouldn’t let up. Since school violence affects us directly it makes it even more important for our voices to be heard.
Earlier this month, over 200 students participated in a sit-down at Westside, according to the Omaha World Herald. In a generation that has seen the consequences of school violence, these protests seem to be just the start. As students turn to legislators to help stop the violence they also become more politically informed. Nicholas Joseph, who is a student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was affected by the shooting that occured at his school.
“I lost one of my closest friends in the shooting,” Joseph said, in an interview with Teen Vogue. “We won’t stop fighting until those in command create the change that we need.”
The change has already started in Florida as can be seen as Governor Rick Scott signs a bill raising the minimum age for buying firearms to 21, according to the New York Times. Students have the power to make a change. We have to keep protesting against school violence until our lawmakers do something to stop it.
All too often do we see lawakers, government officials, and those in the media disregard the views of young people. Those in school mostly are still too young to vote still, and some journalists choose to focus on the worst of teen culture, like Tide pod eating, and gloss over the best of it. According to the Washington Post, hundreds of thousands of people came together for the March For Our Lives in DC alone, many of which being students.
It should go without saying that gun violence in schools affects those in schools. To ignore and discount the views of students, for any reason, is to ignore the problem.