SHHS Students Walk Out in Protest

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday, March 14th, students across America came together to send the world an urgent and indelible message: Enough.

Hundreds of Sleepy Hollow students and staff members were among the tens of thousands nationwide who walked out of school as part of the National School Walkout, a demonstration intended to memorialize the seventeen lives that were lost in the Majory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, and to call for effective changes to gun control legislation. Student-led protests on this issue have been growing in both strength and size since the horrific Parkland shooting, but the recent walkout was the largest organized demonstration yet. Many commented that the United States hasn’t seen such a powerful student protest movement since the era of the Vietnam war. This is only the beginning: a massive student march on Washington (with sister marches in cities around the country, including New York City) took place on March 24th, and another student-led all-day walkout happened on April 20th.

Sleepy Hollow students interested in the movement for stricter gun control walked out after third period to the football field, where they spent seventeen solemn minutes silently remembering the lives lost in Parkland. Members of student government read the names and a short biography of each of the students and staff members who were murdered at the top of each minute. Some students wore orange or brought signs, but everyone present was united in their common concern about the fact that the safety of American schools simply cannot be guaranteed. The event was deeply moving, and likely inspired even more students to join the fight against assault weapons, the NRA, gun culture, and lawmakers who offer nothing but “thoughts and prayers.”

Today’s angry students are tomorrow’s angry voters. Even if legislative change doesn’t result directly from student protests (although early polls indicate it very well may), nearly every student who was in high school as of 2016 will be eligible to vote in 2020, and half of those students will be able to vote in 2018. After the walkout, members of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society helped register over 40 seniors to vote. Coming of age in such a politically charged era has proven to be a strong influence on Generation Z, which has established itself as a smart, technologically savvy group of kids who have few illusions about the way the world works and want to see change in their lifetime. Whether it’s in the streets today or at the polls in the next few years, our generation will fight with everything it has to make sure that no student has to fear being gunned down at their place of learning. Enough is enough.

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