Op/Ed by Makayla Scerbo and Jessie Reyes, staff writers
On March 14th, 2018, there was a national school Walkout Day from 10 am until 10:17 am, one month from the day of the sad events that occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, when 17 high school students were fatally shot by a former student. Many North Springs students participated in this event, which was planned by students on social media, and permitted during homeroom time, which did not interfere with academics, by the county.
At 9:50 students could walk out of their homeroom class and participate in the protest, which was held outside the school in the front by the flagpole. The walkout was led by multiple North Springs students who gave empowering speeches about the sad events of February 14th.
The North Springs National Walkout Day was supposed to be an inspiring event where students came together and fought for better gun control, much like the students in Florida who experience the tragedy firsthand, and whose pleas have engaged the nation in a debate over firearms control.
A few North Springs students, including former Oracle Staff writer Matan Berman, gave great speeches that brought tears to some of their peers; however, you would be hard pressed to know what was said. This was because of one overwhelming factor: The disrespectful group of students who turned the walkout into a social event.
Half of the students at the walkout couldn’t be quiet and listen to the speakers for the 17 minutes that they were allotted, one for each person who was killed. Some students even made crude remarks, such as, “This is so stupid” and “This means nothing.” The amount of disrespect displayed by these students was rude. 17 people at Stonemon Douglas lost their lives, but North Springs student couldn’t be respectful enough to honor them. Actions speak louder than words — this tells us a lot about how rude and disrespectful some of our students are.
Throughout the Walk Out on March 14, everyone was very disrespectful towards those ones who took the event to heart. I wasn’t able to hear the words the student speakers were trying to address due to people just speaking too loudly, and about nothing related to the walkout at all.
Many students were also disrespected during the moment of silence. People just seemed to use this moment to get away from school, which of course, is natural, but really? There wasn’t really anything to skip since the administration adjusted the schedule to accommodate the walkout — there was one report of a student who never came to homeroom but showed up that day just to participate in the walkout). However, the walkout was not just for North Springs, but a nationally planned day of protest to help make a change in the world.. This didn’t even feel like a “protest;” it was more like a free-for-all.
Everyone who had an opinion should have been able to express how they felt, then towards the end have a moment of silence, but the talkers detracted from this. If we really wanted to make a change, we could’ve handled this very differently. I believe that everyone had the right to speak out about how they truly feel without holding it in or being stifled by others. The event was allowed and organized in a way that prevented arguments and chaos; students should have been better able to handle themselves with this privilege. Many students who were outside just took the chance to hang with friends and have normal conversations outside, which they can (and do) every day. If this event was really something people wanted to take advantage of, the students who wanted to express how they felt should have been able to fully express their emotions without the disrespect of their peers.