The Forest Scout

This time, it’s different: The one-of-a-kind Parkland movement

Katie Pierce

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When a school shooting happens, television sets across America light up.  People sit and watch the details pour in: how many people, when, where, and how long it lasted.  People sit and stay silent, either lost in their thoughts or lost in their prayers.  Politicians tweet or post or write statements expressing condolences.  Students and communities grieve and hold vigils to begin the path to healing.

When a school shooting happens, we all hear the names of the dead.  People see pictures of living people, people who no longer get to live in the real world, but on screens and ingrained in the hearts of the country.  People hear the names and wonder which names will be next when this happens again.

Parkland has us doing all of the regular things; praying, thinking, crying and worrying about the future of our country.  The names of Parkland victims are being shared again and again through the news.

Alyssa Alhadeff.  Scott Beigel.  Martin Duque Anguiano.  Nicholas Dworet.  Aaron Feis.  Jaime Guttenberg.  Chris Hixon.  Luke Hoyer.  Cara Loughran.  Gina Montalto.  Joaquin Oliver.  Alaina Petty.  Meadow Pollack.  Helena Ramsay.  Alex Schachter.  Carmen Schentrup.  Peter Wang.

Parkland has us learning about the lives that the victims deserve to be living.  A football coach.  A marching band member.  A dancer.  A swimmer.  A teacher.  A soccer player.  The list goes on.

When a school shooting happens, the government doesn’t jump in like we might expect.  Eventually, we unconsciously forget about the tragedy, and we don’t remember it again until the next one.  But this time, a miracle happened.

When a school shooting happens, we don’t know what it’s like to survive it.  We hear the names of the dead.  But how often do we hear the names of the living?

Jaclyn Corin.  Emma Gonzalez.  David Hogg.  Cameron Kasky.  Alex Wind.

They are the survivors, but they are not just survivors.  They are students.  They are citizens.  They are organizers and they refuse to sit and wait for someone else to do something.  They, like us, have a voice.

Instead of just the pictures of the victims, we are now seeing defiant and determined photos of the survivors; hands raised in protest, mouths close to microphones, eyes raised towards the sky.  It took less than a week for them to organize the #neveragain movement, which in turn has sparked into the “March for Our Lives” movement.

These students are like us in many ways.  They don’t give up easily.  They are busy and know how to work under pressure.  They have dreams and aspirations.  They have opinions.  They are realizing and taking their power back.  Now is the time for us to join their voices.

A group of students staged a lie-in in front of the White House on Monday.  At least 17 students lay silent on the ground in Washington for three minutes; the same amount of time that the students argue, that it takes to buy a gun.

This is just the beginning.  If there is one thing that, we, the teenage protesters, are not, it is complacent.  We are not cynical.  We will not back down even though people tell us we should.  We will not give up because people expect us to.  We will defy those expectations and fight harder.  The future is our future.  We are the future.

Lake Forest students are a part of this protest.  We have the power at this moment in history to make our voices heard.  We deserve to feel safe.  We deserve a chance to speak.  We deserve a future.

On March 14, 2018–the one month anniversary of the Parkland shooting–the #neveragain movement is requesting that students, teachers, and allies walk out of school at 10:00 am for approximately 17 minutes to symbolize the 17 victims of the event.  To show our solidarity, LFHS students should consider wearing the school colors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: burgundy and silver.

On March 24, 2018, the #neveragain movement has organized a march on Washington.  Similar protests are being organized in cities across America, including Chicago.  The Chicago march is set to begin at 11:00 am at the Daley Center in Chicago.

On April 20, 2018–the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting–the #neveragain movement is organizing a school walkout beginning at 10:00 am, that will last for the entire day.  LFHS students should consider wearing orange; the national color to protest gun violence.

Now is not the time to be shy.  Now is not the time to stay silent.  Now is not the time to step back.  Now is the time to step forward.  Now is the time to speak up.  Now is our time.  Let’s not waste a moment of it.

About the Writer
Katie Pierce, Editor in Chief

Katie Pierce is a proud senior at Lake Forest High School. Besides being Editor-in-Chief of TFS, Katie is a drum major of the LFHS band, and spends most of her summer on bike trails as a camp counselor. She also founded and manages her own jazz ensemble, The Swing Sonatas, made up of LFHS musicians. Katie strongly prefers tea instead of coffee, and jazz in place of rap.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “This time, it’s different: The one-of-a-kind Parkland movement”

  1. Pissed off Student on February 22nd, 2018 11:40 pm

    How is it our time? Frankly, we almost have nothing to do with this. We are all students at of one of the best public high schools in the nation. Now, that does not deem our opinions less valuable, but what voice do we have that needs to be heard? Hopefully, none of us have ever seen someone get shot. We have very little knowledge or area of expertise in this discussion. Except that we are all students attending High Schools. Which, doesn’t justify anything and If you believe it does I’d like you to explain it better because I am unsure. I

    I’d also like to make this clear that I’m all for showing our support towards the victims of mass shootings, but I don’t think It should be politically based or have anything to do with polices. I strongly believe we are all bright individuals and we all deserve to have a voice. But this is not our moment yet. One day we will all have our moment, but It’s foolish to all of the sudden jump on this bandwagon completely out of Left Field. It is fairly obvious everyone has shown a lot more intrest in this particular Mass Shooting than the rest. Which is awesome, but why is it just now everyone is showing how important this all is? Why do 18 Mass Murders have to happen this year before the forest scout posts an article regarding anything to do with it?

    I would love to say “go us” and take a strong stand against our government’s policies. But, after countless conversations with my fellow peers regarding politics all of varying subjects. I feel very comfortable saying that a good amount of Students at LFHS have no idea what they are talking about. Now, this does not retain to every student.

    These mass murders have been at a spike ever since 2010 and are horrifying and unimaginable. A few interesting things that I’ve recently discovered is a study from two professors at Western New Mexico University. They presented their study in front of the APA(American Psychological Association) . They claimed “The prevalence of these crimes has risen in relation to the mass media coverage of them and the proliferation of social media sites that tend to glorify the shooters and downplay the victims.” There are a lot of things that can be done to prevent these shootings and we can only move forward from our current state.

    This is a complete sidebar and not at all associated with anything that you’ve written.
    One of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever seen on national television was the anti-gun debate on CNN a few days ago. Cheering for the banning of Semi-Automatic weapons would cause a massive divide in the United States. If a bill is pushed for the removal of the second amendment it will cause is a massive spike in gun sales from Americans afraid that the Left sees gun-owners as the enemy.

    If you would like to read the study about mass shootings and the role media plays here is the link http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/08/media-contagion.aspx

  2. Katie Pierce on February 23rd, 2018 9:31 am

    Dear Pissed off Student,

    Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate you taking the time to comment with your opinions regarding the student protests. My goal in writing this was to highlight the unique nature of the students’ protest, and communicate their message of taking action at this point in our history. The anti-gun debate that you referred to was actually a town hall hosted in Florida that was bipartisan, and I agree that some of the propositions that were made there are nearly impossible to implement, including a removal of the Second Amendment (something I am not necessarily in favor of). It is important to note, also, that the students of Parkland are asking for the support of the country through action, not just thoughts and prayers. I agree that the amount of mass shootings this year is horrifying, and they have not been covered as much as they should have been.

    Thank you again for reaching out and sharing your thoughts on this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Katie Pierce

  3. Averi Nolan on February 23rd, 2018 4:04 pm

    When you say it is, “not our moment yet,” when will it be? You can argue that there is a time and place for everything, but when will it be the time and place? Will it be when more students are killed by a mass shooting? Will it be God forbid if our very own school is affected?
    Lake Forest High School everyone can agree is in it’s own little bubble. I think it’s time this bubble bursts for even just 17 minutes of your time. To show support as their peers and as students. This very well could have been us so of course we will be showing support for the Parkland High School victims. I think it is the very fact you stated that since we are one of the best public schools in the nation, our voice NEEDS to be heard.

    Your fellow student,

    Averi Nolan

  4. Leslie Sandler on February 23rd, 2018 12:30 pm

    Katie,
    Thank you for the informative article. Hopefully, this time will be different and the movement will lead to change so that we will have a safer society. After Sandy Hook, where a classroom of first graders were shot and yet nothing happened, I thought nothing will improve. However, this time with the example of the students from Parkland, I am cautiously optimistic that positive change is on the horizon.

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