Learn How You Can Stand Up for Your Rights
Join the Parkland Students and Rally Your Own High School!
For the last decade, I’ve worked with hundreds of high school students every year on the notorious college application essay.
Once these teenagers start thinking and talking about who they are and what they care about, almost all of them reveal themselves as highly moral kids with idealistic goals and passions.
Above all, they know what’s right.
So it didn’t surprise me that the friends and classmates of the 14 high school students and three teachers slaughtered in Parkland, Florida last week have jumped into action.
Their simple and urgent message: Do something!
And it didn’t take long for them to understand what needed to happen to help prevent more of these senseless tragedies: Control guns.
Especially the ones that can take out large groups of people in a matter of seconds.
(The AR-15 style rifle was used in the Parkland massacre, as well as many others in just the last couple years: 27, mostly kindergarteners, dead in Newtown, Conn.; 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas, NV; 26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs,Texas; 49 club-goers in Orlando, Florida. That’s the short list.)
Based on their recent appearances on national television, these students also know the SINGLE, MOST EFFECTIVE first step to dramatically reduce the carnage: Ban assault-style weapons.
Just listen to their eloquent, heartfelt speeches.
And learn about their plans to join forces with other high school students and make history.
These Parkland students almost instantly knew exactly what needs to happen:
- Speak up however you can (Find a march, spread the word on Social Media, start a club, sign petitions, talk to others…)
- Take on the biggest defender of all guns: the National Rifle Association (NRA)
- Vote out the politicians who take the NRA’s blood money and wouldn’t dream of standing up to them (Just Google them!)
We’ve all heard the rantings of those who blame everything but guns in order not to give them up:
*It’s the fault of bad parenting
*Killers will find other ways to kill
*Gun ownership is a Constitutional Right
*It’s a mental health issue
Again, the kids get it. They don’t deny that all of these are related factors on different levels, which need to be addressed as well.
But they are smart enough to focus on the ONE step that will reduce the carnage the most: Ban assault-style weapons.
(This is not a radical new concept: These were banned in the United States up until 2004, when Congress let it expire. The ban included 18 types of semi-automatic rifles, including the AK-15.)
I salute the bravery of these high school students to speak out.
I am heartened by their clear sense of logic and ability to see the problem—and one obvious step toward a solution.
These kids have managed to pierce the fog of fake news and propaganda that has gripped our country, and paralyzed our ability to confront issues with reason and truth.
It’s shameful that they are now being attacked by the forces out there who will go to any length to keep their guns.
If you are distraught and sickened by the constant headlines and photos of dead young people in our country, speak up.
Support these young heroes and their pleas for help and support any way you can.
Get informed. (Tune in with Twitter: #NationalSchoolWalkout #MarchForOutLives #Enough)
Here’s Information on Upcoming Marches:
National School Walkout: March 14
Protesters are calling on students to walk out of school at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes (one for every Parkland shooting victim.)
March of Our Lives: March 24
Sister marches are being planned throughout the country to support the Parkland students’ march
Students: Know Your Rights
From the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
“Your school can punish you for missing class, just like they always can, but it can’t punish you more harshly for protesting than if you were missing class for another reason.”
If you think your rights are being violated, contact your local ACLUA affiliate at aclu.org/affiliates.
I was curious how these teenagers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had such a fierce sense of social justice and so many of them stood up within hours of the tragedy to express their outrage and concerns so eloquently.
I found it interesting to learn about the woman the school was named after, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who was the daughter of the first publisher of The Miami Herald newspaper, a journalist herself, a women’s rights activist “suffragette,” an early environmentalist who lived to be 108.
Based on the progressive legacy of their school’s namesake, I believe there must be teachers, parents and other educators at that school who have fostered a strong sense of democracy and social justice. Bravo!
In this same spirit, I believe all of us who work with students have a responsibility to support these teenagers any way we can.
Lives depend on it.
I salute these students for standing up for their Constitutional rights and participating in Marches and other peaceful protests demanding gun control policies to keep them safe, especially in their schools.
As both a parent, educator and patriot, I plan to march alongside them in my community (either Orange County or Los Angeles). Hope to see you there!