LIVINGSTON, NJ — On Feb. 14, tragedy shook American citizens to their core as a school shooting took place at Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla. Seventeen lives were taken, fourteen were wounded, and countless victims and spectators were scarred.
As the question of safety in school rises, students across the country have taken it upon themselves to be the change. There have been 18 school shootings so far this year, and with a number this high, students at Livingston High School (LHS) are insisting that a change is vital.
To students and faculty at LHS, any school shooting emulates the same fear and sadness provoked by the 2016 threats that were received. In order to stand up for stricter gun control laws, LHS students have organized a school-wide march out on March 14 for 17 minutes to honor the 17 lives lost in Parkland.
According to students, they are walking not only for the lives lost, but for the millions of lives of students who should not have to fear leaving their houses everyday. They are walking to prove that when people come together, their voices are stronger and louder, and LHS students are refusing to settle.
The walkout was organized by the Women’s March Youth EMPOWER group and will start at 10 a.m. and last until 10:17 a.m. With more than 275 LHS students committed to attending, the walkout has high hopes to spark a change.
“I am participating in the school walkout against our country’s guns laws to make clear that we will no longer standby while these horrible tragedies of gun violence occur in schools,” said junior Izzi Zegers, an organizer of the LHS walkout. “We must demand action to be taken and use our voices to bring change because no child should ever feel unsafe in school.”
The #ENOUGH movement is inspiring students to work together and fight for a change. The goal of the walkout is to “demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” according to TheActionNetwork.org.
Schools across the country are participating on March 14, but there still remain schools that are skeptical of the event. At LHS, students will not be punished for participating, which has been a main concern of many students. With the support of the school on their side, more and more students plan on joining in.
LHS junior Josh Waxman said that he is “proud to see all these people [he goes] to school with support such a great cause.”
“We will be the generation that makes the change,” he said.
Overall, the walkout is to honor the lives lost. On March 14, students across the country will be walking together for a greater cause.
This article was written by Sarah Haber, a Livingston High School student participating in the TAPinto Livingston student internship program.