Am I Next?

Marissa Trotter, Opinion Editor

Today, March 14, Lake City High School participated in the National Walkout. We had a huge turnout and almost everyone was there for the right reasons. We went out into the cold, windy rain and signed petitions, registered to vote, and listened to Zoe O’Brien give a speech that gave me chills.

These walkouts achieve unity and show elected officials that we are serious. The whole country is angry that students like us go to school every day not knowing if this will be the day someone takes away our right to live. Thousands of students aren’t okay with the way our country is treating these dead children. People as young as 14 died a month ago in Parkland and we got nothing in response but “silence and prayers.”

Our walkout genuinely made me tear up from both anger and grief. Last year 590 people died in mass shootings, and that’s not even including the many more who were injured. Men, women, children, and everyone in between are dying and nothing is happening. I’m scared that something is going to happen to me or to someone I personally know and love, and the degrees of separation between us and these events are far too small to be comfortable. As a nation, we can no longer sit by and do nothing about this, your children are dying, my friends are dying and we need to demand change.

The generation that is organizing these walkouts and writing speeches is the same generation that is about to be voting age, and soon after we will be those elected officials. The changes we’re demanding are happening whether you like it or not.

Our walkout allowed us to speak up, to show the world that we will not be silenced, and our participation was only a small part of what will become a revolution. Young people are standing up and demanding to be listened to. We aren’t going anywhere, so either join us or sit down and watch us change the world.