We Need Every Johns Creek Student At The Walkout, And Here's Why

We Need Every Johns Creek Student At The Walkout, And Here's Why

It is a matter of the safety of our country's future.
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On March 14th, from 10 to 10:17 a.m., high schools across the country will be walking out of their classes for a variety of reasons. Some are protesting lax gun laws that have allowed many shooters to accumulate military arsenals worth of semi-automatic machinery that can decimate a body. Some are protesting the inefficiency – or lack thereof – of school security, permitting just about anyone to enter the building. And some are only leaving to avoid 17 minutes – timed so that there is a minute per victim of the Parkland shooting, exactly a month before the walkout date – of math class. Yet the message is unmistakably clear: students are tired of being used as target practice.

Despite the openness of surrounding school systems, such as DeKalb and Marietta City, Fulton County has remained bent on forbidding the walkout, claiming it is “disruptive” and “distracting” and offering alternatives that are extremely ignorable and whose impact is almost laughable next to the obvious, clear message that a student walkout would have. The lack of importance given to students’ voices is clear, and it is disappointing that Fulton would prefer to give hours to discussing the purchases of class rings or even to cancel school because of a football game yet cannot find it beneficial to permit this exercise of the first amendment. But, at least at Johns Creek High School, many students are planning to walk out anyway – and here’s why.

As someone who has been helping to plan the walkout and ensure it is organized and orderly, I can speak from a point of authority to say that our walkout is more inclusive. Although the national walkout was originally proposed by the Women’s EMPOWER group, a leftist, liberal group that is advocating this event as a gun-control protest, the Johns Creek walkout plans to be less political, less partisan and less specific. We are calling for student participation to advocate for SAFETY in whatever form that an individual chooses to call for it. For some, perhaps this is heightened security. For others, perhaps this is gun control. However, by not labeling it as pro- or anti-gun control laws, we are trying to include everyone and make everyone comfortable in participating, since this is an issue that affects everyone now.

Clearly, our government will gridlock when it comes to gun control discussions. The topic of what is and is not permitted under the second amendment is a hot-button issue, one that is never a short discussion (even amongst people with a similar idea of it). Yet many schools are ticking time bombs. Plans – although fake – were drawn to map out a possible shooting at Johns Creek. Shots were fired at Dalton High School today, February 28th. Weapons have been found on campus at South Forsyth and Dunwoody High Schools within the last few days, and there are many other examples I could cite that are immediately and geographically relevant to our students. In the meantime, we need to pause our gun control debates and immediately focus on stopping violence NOW. When a wound happens, a bandage is placed over the wound to stop immediate bleeding or infection before the surgery occurs. Our bandage, therefore, comes in the call for security.

This is an immediate call to action; just because it is not extreme in one stance or another – we are not marching out at Johns Creek High School for private citizens to have their guns taken away any more than we are marching out for teachers to be forced to arm themselves – does not mean that we do not have an opinion. It means that, rather, we recognize the need for something to be done now.

Because of this nonpartisan approach, we anticipate having participants from all over the political spectrum. We anticipate showing a unity that has not ever been seen before as we show that we feel that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Everyone – both Democrats and Republicans – have been hurt in school shootings. Therefore, we all will walk out together to show that all students recognize how important it is to feel safe while receiving an education.

Is it distracting to walk outside for 17 minutes? It’s more distracting to fear getting gunned down during your chemistry lab. To have your class interrupted by the principal having to reassure everyone that the threat, in fact, is not real and that your school will not be the next Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And, although thankfully I cannot speak in concrete terms to it, it would probably be distracting for the rest of my life to be replaying my best friends being massacred next to me as I pretended to be dead or constantly rehearing the sounds of my teachers barricading the door as former students lead a killing rampage down the hallway.

I cannot bring an opened bottle of water onto an airplane. Too much shampoo is a red flag. Yet I could bring a backpack full of explosives tomorrow, and nobody would know until it is too late. After 9/11, airport security increased dramatically. After two or three concert shootings, concert security increased dramatically. Yet how many shootings do we need to occur for school security to see that dramatic increase? How many people – innocent kids who are excited for their turn at show and tell that day, teenagers who have just committed to their dream college, coaches who are ready to take their teams to state or teachers who just got engaged – have to die before we realize that the current system needs a change?

That is why we need everyone to come together on March 14th, a month after the Parkland shooting, to both remember the victims and to raise your voice and call that “enough is enough”. If the government is going to gridlock over gun control issues, let them do it while we are safe inside a building, continuing our education as we prepare to be the next generation leading the country. Have the debates without us fearing our safety. Work for our national betterment while we work for our personal betterment. We have already established the right to an education in this country, so it is time that we uphold it.

Johns Creek is not, unfortunately, bulletproof (pun intended). One day, I hope that it is – or might as well be. But we cannot do this without you. We need each and every student who cares about their safety, their younger siblings’ safety or even just the safety of the future of their country to join forces with us and the rest of the nation to say that enough is enough. Keep us safe. We need their help now – and "we" includes us all.

Cover Image Credit: Inverse

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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22 Things Parents Should Send Their Children At College, If They Love And Miss Them

We're getting to that point in the semester, y'all.

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Even though college students are just a little over a month into the spring semester, we are already feeling high amounts of stress over tests and papers. Nobody said college was going to be easy, and this statement is ringing truer and truer each day. So, to the parents, grandparents, or anybody else who loves us and cares about our well being, here are 22 things you should send us if you love and miss our presence.

1. Gift cards to the local grocery store. 

Preferably Walmart or Food Lion, since that's all we have here in Farmville, VA.

2. Room decor from the Target dollar section. 

Or anything from Target, for that matter. Some college towns don't have one of these glorious establishments, and we are experiencing withdrawals.

3. School supplies. 

You can never have too many sticky notes or colored pens.

4. Mints. 

Because some people need it after lunch, and gum is disgusting.

5. A cozy blanket. 

For those cold nights spent in the library until 2 in the morning.

6. A handwritten letter. 

These are one of my favorite things to get in the mail, and there is always something so sentimental about snail mail.

7. A giant box of fruit snacks...

Definitely one of my favorite grab and go snacks.

8. ... Or candy, in general. 

Preferably, gummies. But, I won't refuse chocolate candy either.

9. Cash. 

For those late night Taco Bell runs, or just to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

10.  A funny movie/DVD. 

There's something so simple and serene about watching a funny movie on a DVD player that brings us back to the less stressful times of our childhood.

11.  Hot chocolate mix. 

I always get random cravings for hot chocolate, but it's never enough to make me want to go buy a box of mix.

12.  Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards. 

Because the majority of our lives revolve around coffee, and sometimes our Keurigs just don't cut it.

13.  Peanut butter crackers. 

These are so quick and easy to eat between classes (or if you're like me, IN class).

14.  Scent diffuser. 

This can be even better if you send a scent that reminds us of home.

15.  Hair ties. 

For some reason, I only own about five at a time because I am always losing these!

16.  Homemade cookies/brownies. 

These always make me so happy knowing my mom took time out of her busy day to think of me and bake yummy treats.

17.  Gift cards for our favorite online shopping stores. 

What better way to relieve stress than buy clothes you don't need?

18.  Nail polish. 

You can never have too many bottles of the same shade of pink.

19.  Mug warmer. 

These help keep your cup of coffee warm for long periods of time so you don't end up wasting such a sacred drink.

20.  Lysol wipes/hand sanitizer. 

I go both of these things at an alarming rate because some places are just plain disgusting.

21.  Band-aids. 

No one ever really thinks of buying these, but they work for so many more reasons than their typical use.

22.  iTunes gift card. 

For all those "educational apps" our professors tell us to buy. *wink wink*

Every college student loves getting a care package in the mail, so if you really love and miss us, please send one our way!

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