Since When Was Standing Up For What You Believe In Subject to Punishment?
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Politics and Activism

Since When Was Standing Up For What You Believe In Subject to Punishment?

It's 2018, so why are students being reprimanded?

Since When Was Standing Up For What You Believe In Subject to Punishment?
Victoria Pickering

While it saddens me that school districts around the country did not support the student walkout against gun violence, I give praise to schools that did and the students who were brave enough to do so. Gun violence needs to end now, and it is up to our generation to do so and get legislators to realize how serious we are about this issue. To every student out there who walked out or did something on March 14th (and every day) to stand up for gun control, thank you.

I also am furious that students are being penalized for PEACEFULLY protesting and standing up for what they believe in but still got punished. A high school near where I live did not let their students walk out and for those that did were given various punishments.

The school's principal responded to this saying , "For those who left the building, part of this learning is that, just as is the case in the real world, there are consequences for actions in which we choose to engage.” Okay yes, in the real world you do get consequences for actions, the principal is correct, and I also do understand the pressure they are under to handle these situations. However, this is a sorry excuse for a response to the anger he is receiving from families.

In high school, I will admit to getting in trouble for being late in the mornings to First Period ( I'm sorry but 7:30am is too early for anyone), and while it was no fun, I respect the reasons behind my disciplinary action. In the real world yes, you most likely will get fired for being late on multiple occasions so that lesson should be learned as early as possible. But to punish students for standing up for what they believe in? That just goes against everything that educators should be teaching in their classroom. The walkout was not meant to harm anyone at all so why is any punishment necessary.

As my senior prank in high school, we created "Senior Snooze Fest 2016" where every senior gathered up in the hallways and pretended to sleep so that students were not able to get to class on time. My senior class was not punished for just laying there and the administrators found this prank funny. If anything, at that moment we were much more deserving of punishment than the brave people that walked out for their right to be able to go to school and feel SAFE.

While this high school is definitely under fire, there were others that did an amazing job at handling the walk out. One other school had faculty members to safely go with the students who chose to protest and walked outside with them and had a healthy, mature, and respectful conversation about the events going on. I do not see any reason for why all schools across the nation couldn't handle this in the same way.

We need to support today's youth and encourage them to continue to fight for what they believe in and to not back down until they feel that they have been heard. We must support students throughout this journey and comfort them with any feelings that they may be having towards these tragedies going on around the country and the world. Since legislatures aren't the ones taking action on gun control, it is up to us as students to fight for change. We are the ones who can do it, so don't try and stop us.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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