Compiled by Molly Richards
People keep telling me that we are too young to understand. That we are just kids and we have no voice. They say “You are too young to get the ‘complexities’ of the issue.” And actually, they are almost right. This SHOULD be a problem for adults. We should not have to worry about things like this in high school. This should have been solved long ago, before walkouts like this needed to happen. But it was not solved, and now it has become a kids’ issue. It has become our issue because we are the ones getting shot at, are the ones hiding under our desks, and the ones who worry about who the next shooter will be. Our vooices are now necessary. It is now up to the US to make difference and we can. Everyone here will be eligible to vote within a few years. Use that voice! WE have the power to do something. WE have the ability to make school shootings a thing of the past. WE will be the generation to make a change!
Today we are making history. Today we are creating change. Today we walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers, abolitionists, suffragists, civil rights leaders and anti-war demonstrators; young people empowering each other, coming together for a common, just cause. Adolescence are powerful, adolescence create change. We bring hope to the old and inspire the young. We raise each others voices up and work together to protect one another. We must protect one another. Our lives are at stake, and we must ignite the conversation to save them. Not another school. Not another student. Never again. Though our political beliefs may differ, we can all agree change is needed. Change is possible. Change is coming and change starts with you.
The Generation of Change is enough to unify us. We all support one another as members of this generation, and we all support one another in striving toward decreasing violence in our schools. While we might disagree on the best way to reach this goal, we should make our voices heard to those who can promote change. Whatever your political beliefs may be, you have the opportunity to express them. The most direct way to voice your opinion is to contact your state representative by calling this number:(). Those of you who are 18 (or almost 18), we have voting registration available at the back table. Do not be afraid to involve yourself in the democracy that you live under for your benefit and the benefit of every other student in America.
Voicing your opinion is vital to creating change, but so is voicing your concerns. If you have any concerns about the mental health of a friend, classmate, or even yourself, please contact someone that you trust. We have an amazing system of support available through the high school with counselors who are approachable in complicated situations and qualified to help students navigate their problems. Do not hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Paul, Mr. LePard, Mrs. Burdette, Mr. Martinelli or Mrs. Dean for assistance in either your own personal problems or those of a friend.
Be conscious not only of mental and emotional health of students, but also of any suspicious behavior. If you notice something that causes you to question the safety of the school, contact the See Something Say Something tip line. The number to call is: (330) 790-1383 or 1-844-SaferOH. You are part of the generation. You are part of the change. Be present and be active.
We live in an environment where you are either a liberal or conservative, a democrat or a republican. An environment where we bash each others opinions and mindlessly yell at eachother. I cannot stress enough, that is not the point. The issue that brings us here today does not need to be compressed into a two-sided political debate. No matter who you are, where you are, or what you believe in; we are in this together. This nation wide memorial for the victims of school shootings shows that we can all unite to pass on a greater message. The amazing message that inspires young people all across the country to be a part of a platform that encourages everyone to have a voice. We are here today to embody the strength of unity. Although we have been raised in a country that demonstrates little unity, our ability to join our voices together as one speaks louder than our words. And by uniting with other schools in the nation, we are representing how strong our generation is and how much we can accomplish. Together we stand and together we can save our future.
We want everything we have said today to last and impact the others in our community. In order to have this impact, we must be mature and respectful individuals. We strongly encourage you to go back to your 4th period class and finish your school day as normal. Talk to your peers and mentors about something you learned or something you are going to do because you are inspired to make a difference.