The Talon

Students Lead the Change

Dahlia Brown, Staff Writer

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“The students! United! Will never be divided! The students! United! Will never be divided!”

Thousands of young voices raised this chant as they lead the March for our Lives campaign on Saturday, March 24th at Waterfront Park. An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people marched that day, raising posters, registering to vote, and demanding school safety.

After the Parkland shooting on February 14th, students have made gun control a priority topic. The United States has suffered 17 school shootings in 2018 alone, leaving 23 students and teachers dead. Republican support of the National Rifle Association (or the other way around) and their unwillingness to impose gun control legislation fuels student anger across the country. When will it be enough?

For students at Del Norte, the walkout on March 14th sparked the creation of a student-lead activist group called Nighthawk Activists United. “Instead of walking out, we gathered in Dr. Hall’s room to write letters to Senators,” explains Yunho Jung (12). “It was a more practical use of time than participating in the poorly assembled walkout.”

Nighthawk Activists United is not a club at Del Norte, but a passionate group of students who meet regularly a few times a week to discuss a wide range of social issues. “We want to teach students to find their voices and provide them with opportunities to be heard” says Madeleine Tran (12). For more information, come to our meetings at Panera every Friday at 4:15.

Nighthawk Activists United raised their voices among the thousands of others on Saturday. “I march because I refuse to live in fear any longer,” says Maria Alita (11). “All of these shootings could have been prevented if adults would have handled the situation like they should have.”

Nicole Parks (12) focuses on the non-political aspect of school safety — human life. In addition to holding up a poster that read how many children need to die before you take action?, she wrote on her arms the names of every student who died in a school shooting. “My arms were completely covered. It hurt me to see all those names and know that their deaths could have been prevented.”

On Saturday, we showed the world that students are not afraid to make change. Walkouts and marches can get us halfway, but we need to support them with votes. Once we’ve registered to vote, know who we’re voting for, and actually go vote, change WILL happen.

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