Growing up, I was fearless. The biggest crisis I experienced was when my neighborhood friends couldn’t come out to play because they were too busy learning how to add and subtract for class. All of the important stuff was up to the adults. They knew how to handle it all. Like taxes, I used to think. I thought that the most important thing adults had to handle were taxes.
When it came down to it, though, I knew the adults could protect us kids.
Children today may never know that feeling.
I was raised not to talk to strangers, to look both ways when crossing the street and to greet people with a smile. Now, kids are being trained to run in preparation for the possibility that someone tries to shoot up their school. They are learning to report if they see something going on that shouldn’t be going on. They are being told how to hide properly in classrooms to be a more difficult target for bullets firing from a semi-automatic weapon.
I used to see advertisements on TV for the newest Barbie Doll.
Now there are advertisements for backpacks lined with kevlar.
In what universe is that okay? In what universe is it acceptable for 14 students to be murdered in the one place they should be safest?
The United States hands out assault rifles like confetti and until there are strict regulations, I fear children will never know what it’s like to feel safe; adults continue bickering on the sidelines about amendments while their children are dying.
Putting guns in classrooms will not fix this. Moments of silence will not fix this. Your thoughts and prayers will not fix this.
We need change and we need it now.
The most recent large-scale school shooting at Parkland, Florida must be the last our country will ever mourn over.
I’m not a politician or corporation. I am simply a 16-year-old student who wants to feel safe in her own classroom again.