On Feb. 14, 17 high school students lost their lives due to gun violence. Many other students across the nation are now standing up and voicing their opinions. They are lead by the surviving students of Parkland, Florida.
Students of all ages across the United States are making their voices heard by preparing for a national walkout headed by primarily students. This walkout is in response to the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school.
Kettering Fairmont High school will also be taking part in this public event. Some of the representatives are as follows: Sophia Roy is representing the freshmen class, Meigan Karolak is representing the sophomore class, Katie Timmer is representing the junior class and Abby Stitt is representing the senior class.
Roy said that this whole movement in her opinion is about the safety of students and less about gun control. She is amazed at the amount of people that are actually putting their voice out there about their own safety.
“Especially the freshmen, the safety of students is very important,” Roy said. “We are the future and we have to ensure it for ourselves.”
Roy believes that many people know about and support the movement. She thinks that as a result of the walkout, more kids will finally have the courage to speak up for what they believe in.
She also thinks that the freshmen support the walkout the most, however they are the most silenced for two reasons. The first is because they are young and everybody believes they shouldn’t have an opinion. The second is because most freshmen are afraid of getting in trouble for participating in anything of this sort.
“Most students will get judged by other students and even teachers, however this shouldn’t discourage them from expressing their opinions,” Roy said.
In the sophomore class, the activity is more centralized. This class has the most supporters and non supporters. Karolak thinks that many students have no reason to protest the walkout because it is about all students safety, not guns.
She believes that many students have been waiting for an opportunity like this and are just jumping at this chance to have their voice heard.
“Kids have a voice too,” Karolak said. “It may not be the biggest, or the most heard, but it’s still a voice.”
Karolak mentioned a possible interest in a student led club called Students Demand Action, which will be a bunch of teenagers working to make their voices heard on these topics.
“When in doubt, leave it to the youth to get things done,” Karolak said.
According to Timmer, any juniors are for this movement as well. They may be the most underrepresented class. She hopes that as a result of the walkout, people will be able to talk about this topic in a civil manner.
“Our purpose in this movement is to show our opinion in any way we can,” Timmer said. “Most teenagers can’t vote, so this is what we’re left with.”
The senior class is focused on the gun problem in the country at the moment because they are about to enter the world and this is not the world they want to go into. Stitt thinks that the problem needs to be solved as soon as possible and we need to be the generation to do it.
“Everyone talks about the problem, but nobody is ever willing to actually do anything about it,” Stitt said.
Many seniors are taking it very seriously; however, some of them strongly oppose it, even going as far as to start an anti-walkout campaign.
Stitt said that even if nothing changes, it will still have been for something, as more attention is continuously being brought to the issue. This is a real thing that is happening and it needs to be addressed promptly.
Overall as a high school, the main attitude about the walkout is more or less positive. Many students realize the need and reasoning behind a walkout. Some students are even excited to make a difference and participate in something that they have never before been a part of.
“This is our last chance to do something as kids and make a difference,” Stitt said. “We’re going to make a change and leave the world a safer and better place.”
Check back tomorrow for updates, live video and photos from Fairmont’s memorial walkout in remembrance of the 17 victims from Parkland.