There has recently been a lot of controversy surrounding the school walkouts, and whether or not they are reasonable ways of furthering the conversation about gun control and school safety. An alternative, #WalkUpNotOut, was started by a school teacher in response to the uprising of planned walkouts. There have been many arguments suggesting one side is better than the other as if the two movements are trying to reach the same goal.
But here’s the thing: the two movements are addressing different things.
The school walkouts are meant to address the lack of gun control laws and the lack of responsibility that the United States shows when it comes to school shootings. The amount of school shootings in the country has been outrageous, and the walkouts were designed to show the government that we are fed up with feeling unsafe in our own schools.
#WalkUpNotOut is designed to address the bullying aspect of why some youths turn to violence. The movement is for the purpose of making sure everyone feels included and cared for within a school environment - this has nothing to do with gun control or gun laws or the safety of schools; it deals with the emotional well-being of all students within schools to prevent the likelihood of kids turning to violence because they feel alone.
In my opinion, instead of choosing one over the other - both should be used. They both address different areas of the issue of school shootings, preventing someone from feeling alone in school as well as preventing them from having easy access to guns. I think using the two movements together is very helpful in attacking the issue from multiple angles, instead of just focusing on one aspect and ignoring the other.
There are different pros and cons to each side but at the end of the day they are both accomplishing something meaningful and contributing to the betterment and safety of our schools. There shouldn’t be debate over change because this change was bound to happen; it’s just a shame it took this long for the ball to get rolling.