One would think that a shooting as tragic and heart wrenching as the one at Florida's Parkland High School on Valentine's Day would force people to come together and advocate for justice.
Instead, all I see on Facebook are adults criticizing and condemning the Parkland survivors for standing up in the face of injustice. Whether it's accusing them of being crisis actors (which newsflash: are not a thing!) or attacking them for organizing walkouts and marches, people everywhere are having no problem demeaning these children.
The kids in Florida have seen their friends die, they have been stuck in a high school while armed deputies stood outside and watched, they have attended more funerals in one week than most people attend in a year.
They should not have to also be dealing with such oblivious judgment from a generation that has, for the most part, probably not experienced the trauma and pain they are feeling right now.
Yes, Gladys on Facebook, it is true that back in your day you didn't have active shooter drills at school or have to worry about whether or not you should purchase a bulletproof backpack. But that doesn't mean you should ignore it while it's happening now and pretend that this occurs just because modern parents aren't "disciplining their kids right" or because video games these days are "just too violent."
Also, Gladys, being bullied is not a justification for murder. Stop putting the blame on the survivors for not "being more friendly" toward their classmates and actually blame the man that thinks it's okay to shoot children with an AR-15.
If it was your child that was in Parkland High School on February 14, would you still sympathize with the man that wanted to kill them? Would you still excuse his actions just because he got "bullied"?
I was made fun of in school too. People laughed at my glasses, my acne, the fact that I had few friends. I'm sure many other students felt as insecure as I did in high school.
But the difference between me and Nikolas Cruz is that I never once thought of walking into my school with a weapon used in modern warfare and intentionally murdering the kids that I grew up with and interacted with everyday (whether those interactions were positive or negative.)
Another thing that the older generations need to stop doing is condemning Generation Z for their newly found activism. In case you haven't noticed, children hold the country's future in their tiny, yet mighty hands!!
All of these senators refusing to do anything toward gun control and continuing to collect money from the NRA will all be saying goodbye to their jobs when the Parkland survivors are able to vote in a few years.
And for the people that feel it is "disrespectful" for kids to be walking out of school for the March for Our Lives and other protests, you know what else is disrespectful? Having a man with an assault rifle walk into your school and completely wreak havoc among you and your peers.
I would say that's a little more worrisome than children missing 17 minutes of school. I'm sure they wouldn't have learned anything useful during that time period anyway.
Acknowledging that you have a voice and using that voice for social change and justice will provide you with an education a thousand times more valuable than what the typical high school curriculum contains.
In summary, those that think it's okay to shut down the Parkland survivors' voices just because they're children and apparently don't know anything about the real world should remember that these kids were forced to face death and came out alive when some of their closest peers and mentors did not.
So, you should probably just mind your business and let them fight for what they believe in. They've been through enough.