Op-Ed: School Walk-Outs

Frank Vereline, Staff Writer

In the wake of every mass shooting in America, the nation collectively mourns for those who lose their lives. It forces everybody to reflect on what happened, and how they can fix it, but as time goes on, people seem to forget about what transpired. Sadly, like most things, the event seems to fall out of the media’s favor; however, this time, the survivors of the Stoneman-Douglas shooting, and those who support them, are trying to keep their voices alive and put an end to gun violence. The shooting, which took place on February 14, 2018 and lead to the deaths of 17 civilians, has sparked an international outcry for gun control in America.

To spread the word and raise awareness for the events that not only happened in Stoneman-Douglas High School, but at other schools all across the country, students organized a national walkout on March 17, with another planned for April 20 (in honor of the Columbine shooting from 1999). On the day of the walkout, students all over the east coast, including Farmingdale High School, left their classes at approximately 10:00 and returned 17 minutes later, with the 17 minutes representing the 17 people who lost their lives. Here at Farmingdale, what seemed like a few hundred students left for the walkout, including me. Grouped together on the field, students either stood in silence, or quietly talked with their friends. Many chose to sign a large poster outside to show they participated in the event.

Being a part of the event myself, I truly felt the somber tone of the day. We were out there to support the students of Stoneman-Douglas, and yet it felt as if we were mourning. These two walkouts are not the end of the fight for gun control. Just this past week on Saturday, March 24, gun control activists all over the country rallied in the streets of almost every major city in attempt to get their message across to politicians. The protest saw many different types of people, including celebrities, gathered and marched together for one common goal.

The battle for gun control is nowhere near over, with the walkout and “MarchForOurLives” protest being prime examples, but more will need to be done if anti-gun activists want to keep their fight relevant in the ever-changing media. For the students here at Farmingdale, many have stated they will leave for the next walkout, ensuring to keep this matter in the public eye.