The Pony Express

Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Alternate Copy Story by Wyatt Wasko

The Parkland massacre was easily one of the worst tragedies to occur in recent years and one of the most devastating terrorist attacks to happen on U.S. soil. Students who have been able to stand up to protest these completely preventable deaths represent a larger movement of political involvement on behalf of young people, a movement which does not deserve to be shut down by lazy Baby Boomers just because Gen Z is passionate.

Gun control remains one of the most contentious topics to Congress – but not to the rest of America. A study by CNN shows seven in ten people support stricter gun control laws, making it one of the most agreed-upon contemporary issues. With a Congress beholden to NRA donations and an election year coming up, the Republican majority tries to keep pretending like it is an issue of left versus right ideology. Even though the facts disprove this, it still seems to be overly inflammatory.

People have been acting like the young generation does not know what they are talking about, even though all they want is basic safety while trying to learn. Adults’ convenient dismissal of young people is no longer accurate or possible.

“We are kids, we are parents, we are students, we are teachers. We are tired of practicing school shooter drills and feeling scared of something we should never have to think about. We are tired of being ignored,” the new face of the Gun Control movement, Emma Gonzalez, said in her essay for Harper’s Bazaar.

This feeling of being silenced has struck a chord with current high-schoolers, who are now turning out in droves to protest for their own safety. While often times students at Stillwater Area High School feel unheard by the administration, those same staffers have been extremely and laudably supportive of the student efforts to organize and exercise their First Amendment rights during this movement.

We are tired of practicing school shooter drills and feeling scared of something we should never have to think about.”

— Emma Gonzalez

This approach that the administration is taking remains radically different from many across the nation in its acceptance of student efforts. While schools in Needville, Texas, threaten suspensions and Florida passes legislature to arm teachers, our administration noticed the anger of the student body and responded.

Even before members of the Students Against Gun Control group met with any members of the administration, they sent out an email outlining a fairly liberal policy about the March 14 walkout, and are now proceeding to alter the schedule to reflect the day’s plans.

Support like this is really what is needed in situations like these. So many complain about the uselessness of history, and yet here we are, having the chance to make it. The administration, in allowing us to protest, is both showing us the power of civil disobedience and allowing students to safely express their opinions and learn more about what each opinion means. It is an unparalleled teachable moment.

Students need to be able to freely express themselves as the find out who they are and they decide on the issues that matter to them and becoming involved in government processes instead of being told that they do not matter is what is going to allow these kids to learn about what it means to be an adult with independent thought. If a school’s job is to educate us, then that includes being able to form our own opinions, something which is only possible when we are given the freedom necessary.

The lack of actual teacher involvement in the protest, however, is saddening. While it is teacher’s jobs to appear unbiased, and the security risks associated with half the staff participating are undesirable, staff should not have to sacrifice their own rights either. School shootings affect them just as much as it does us. We are letting them be pushed aside during this conversation like they don’t matter, something all teenagers can relate to.

Our administration is currently doing what many others failed to – treat student voices like they deserve to be heard on an issue that directly impacts them. For once, students may actually be able to have an impact on legislation, and SAHS currently is acting as an amplifier to that speech. Take note, Needville. Stillwater has gotten itself together.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever”

  1. Lilly Sample on April 22nd, 2018 8:42 pm

    This is a very well written story with good points and discredits the backlash the SAHS walkout received. It ties to national news as well as local news, and clearly shows your stance while not being over the top. It also brings up points that students don’t usually think about, like lack of teacher involvement. Good job!

    [Reply]

  2. Susan Hubbard on April 22nd, 2018 11:04 pm

    There is a typo in the alt copy, but the main, no matter how I feel the topic should be handled, was very well written. While just as terrible, technically Parkland was not confirmed an act of terrorism, as it had no evidence of political or religious affiliation. Abby is very good at taking a strong stance on political topics and in her writing, she sounds very professional.

    [Reply]

  3. Mira LaNasa on April 23rd, 2018 10:18 am

    As usual, an incredibly detailed and informative article by Abby. Great lead, really interesting rhetoric, and a captivating topic. It helped to hear your voice so clearly through the article and really showed your passion for student activism.

    [Reply]

  4. Hannah Sween on April 23rd, 2018 9:22 pm

    Extremely well written, great job Abby! However, I believe there is a typo in paragraph two, “A study by CNN shows seven in ten people to support stricter gun control laws, making one of the most agreed-upon contemporary issues.” “to” should be omitted and the second clause of the sentence should include “making it one of…” I love that you included a quote from Emma Gonzales, she’s amazing!

    [Reply]

  5. Ellie Faeth on April 23rd, 2018 10:12 pm

    This article is very opinion heavy, but in a good way. It definitely gets a very important point across. This is done by rich diction and detail that the writer uses. I love the use of Emma Gonzalez’s quotes. The alt copy is fun as well, it just needs some more pictures.

    [Reply]

The Pony Express intends for this area to be used to foster healthy thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to the standards of the Pony Express and to be respectful and constructive. Furthermore, we do not permit any of the following inappropriate content including: Libel or defamatory statements, any copyrighted, trademarked, or intellectual property of others, the use of profanity and foul language or personal attacks. All comments are reviewed and approved by staff to ensure that they meet the standards of this publication. The Pony Express does not allow anonymous comments. We require a name and valid email address submitted. This email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. Online comments that are found in violation of these policies will be removed as quickly as possible.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Melania Trump tackles bullying

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    President Trump shuffles his cabinet

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    EIC Column: Terrible truths haunting TSA

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Staff Editorial: Year round schooling a waste of time

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Unaffordable college puts students in a bind

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Weight shaming occurring on social media

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    EIC Column

    EIC Column: Marching makes a major difference

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Safety regulations called into question after Parkland shooting

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Know your rights: guide to exercising First Amendment

  • Student activists: more powerful, more necessary than ever

    Editorial

    Staff Editorial: pushing back bell times detrimental