Whitney Houston sang, “I believe that children are our future.” And the students of South Broward High School in Florida just proved that the future, when led by them, looks bright. On Friday, February 16th, just two days after the Florida school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a group of Florida teens staged a walkout to protest gun violence in solidarity with their peers. South Broward High School is about 30 miles away from Parkland, where the mass shooting that resulted in 17 deaths took place.
In the days following the Florida school shooting, survivors took to Twitter to call out politicians and urge them to get working on gun-control legislation. Sarah Chadwick, whose Twitter handle is @sarahchad_, tweeted at Marco Rubio, saying, “As a student who was inside the school while an active shooter was wreaking terror and havoc on my teachers and classmates with an AR-15, I would just like to say, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.”
Around 50 South Broward High School students walked out of classes on Friday to protest gun laws and the NRA. They showed how passionate Generation Z is and how negatively impactful school shootings are on students. According to HuffPost, students held signs which read things like “NRA is a terrorist organization” and “Protect the kids!” Another powerful sign read “It could’ve been us.” That should motivate any politician to make changes in gun legislation.
These Florida teens are taking action.
Future voters at South Broward High School have left classes to protest for better gun control. pic.twitter.com/AgpKRsrNwI— Sebastian Murdock (@SebastianMurdoc) February 16, 2018
Their walkout shows how young activists will lead the way to real change.
I’m joining whatever political party those kids in Florida just started— Rhea Butcher ???????? (@RheaButcher) February 16, 2018
Images from the South Broward High School students’ protest displays how passionate the students are about gun control. Many of their signs implore politicians to help, saying, “protect us.”
Students at South Broward High School chant, “It could have been us, it can still be us,” at gun reform protest in Hollywood Friday afternoon. Students say they are standing in solidarity w the students of MSD. #ParklandSchoolShooting pic.twitter.com/C8UBiWtd2T— Audra Burch (@abscribe) February 16, 2018
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a terrible tragedy, but the Florida teens have given many people hope.
Many of the students will be able to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. As a new generation of impassioned voters comes of age, major changes could be on the horizon.
If these kids really show up to vote in Florida, the older politicians who laugh at young people on campus and dismiss young people at protests and ignore young people in high school will be enjoying a relaxing Florida retirement soon— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) February 16, 2018
One 14-year-old who walked out of school on Friday, Shane Dale, told HuffPost that he feels especially affected by the school shooting because of his school’s proximity to it. “Nobody needs an AR-15 rifle for hunting,” Dale said, mentioning to the rifle used by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz in the attack. “We need to get rid of assault rifles overall.”
Florida teens are showing support for stricter gun regulation, and politicians should definitely be listening.
These high schoolers are pissed off — and for good reason. Now, the nation must react. Children are the future, and it’s our job to protect them.