Guest editorial: Student says Park City school walkout is a call to action | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial: Student says Park City school walkout is a call to action

Carly McAleer
Eighth grade, Treasure Mountain Junior High School

It's an overstatement to say that our community fears violence. Why would we? In a tightly knit community like ours, why should we be afraid? Maybe it's because of the thirteen people killed in Colorado, the twenty-six murdered in Connecticut, or the seventeen massacred in Florida. Every one of those communities was hit hard with tragedy and were not worrying about school shootings on the mornings they happened. These events should not make us cower in fear, instead they should help us raise our voices and demand change. We should be standing up for what we believe and protesting against those who believe nothing can be done. We can no longer offer thoughts and prayers, now's the time to take action.

The action taken after all the recent major shootings has been the same. Elected representatives tell us now not the time for policy, but the time for grievances and sorrows. That's why it's so important to raise our voices and demand change. Clasping our hands together and saying a few word about people we hardly know hasn't helped and will never help. The pressure relies even more now on students to voice their opinions and fight for our rights. Students have modern ideas that can change the way we see a problem and better help us identify a solution. The new opinions students develop have to be heard especially because what we accomplish now will be what we work with in twenty years.

Five days a week, they stand at the front of classrooms urging us to pursue our dreams and change the world. They educate us on controversial topics and advise us to speak our opinions. Teachers' voices are very influential and deserve to be heard. The ideas they spread and the minds they inspire really do change the world and it's their opinions we need to help us succeed. Teachers with ideas are not dangerous and encourage the flow of expression. There is a law in Utah that requires teachers to stay neutral, nonetheless, their opinions are shared in class. Classes such as English, science, social studies, and debate require the flow of opinions to be successful. To restrict teachers from sharing their concerns, feelings, and beliefs is quite possibly impossible. If teachers share their opinions in class, why shouldn't they be allowed to share them in public. Their voices are the ones amplifying the students' voices and should have the privilege of being heard.

I'm an 8th grader participating in the walkout at Treasure Mountain on Wednesday, March 14. I have my own reasons for participating as do many others. I believe this walkout should be a call to our elected representatives for better gun control. This walkout may serve as a memorial to the Parkland shooting victims for my classmates, but for me, it's much more. Our voices have the power to change the status quo. People must realize now is the time to do something and develop laws and rules to keep our students safe. Finally, I want to make sure none of my classmates or any other student in America has to be on the wrong end of a deadly weapon again.