Letter: Southington High School student reflects on student walk-out

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To the editor:

On Wednesday, March 14, more than 200 Southington High School students participated in the national walkout day in remembrance of the 17 teenagers who died in Parkland, Fla. only a month before. Although I am a firm believer that there should be stricter gun laws, I understood that the walkout was simply to stand in solidarity with the survivors of the shooting and to join their mourning.

I knew many of my classmates were against the walkout, claiming that it was a pointless action to stop any of the violence. However, I still thought that the walkout would be a peaceful, respectful way to honor victims of gun violence. I was wrong.

Not a minute after we got out of the building, students held up “Make America Great Again flags,” NRA memorabilia, and signs that read “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”

Many of my classmates didn’t want to participate in the walkout because they thought it was “too political,” however those against the walkout were the ones who truly put the spotlight on divisive politics. In shock, I asked administrators if we could have at least a minute of silence to honor the students, but I was told that it was impossible, and that we already had our moment of silence inside.

This administrator was referring to the reading of the victims’ names before the walkout, but classrooms were the opposite of silent. The utter disrespect and immaturity from students that I saw was disturbing and even more heartbreaking.

The opinions of my peers and myself are often discredited due to our young age because adults claim that we are “too young” to fully grasp such complex situations. Unfortunately, my peers lived up to and surpassed those expectations that day.

However, I write to the editor to give adults a message: every young person is the future of this country. Not only do you leave us with the economic problems of your generation, but also the social problems that you refuse to fix. So please, we have so much to say, let us have a voice.

Aliya Sarris, SHS student

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