To the students who walked out of class Wednesday: Don't give up

Thursday , March 15, 2018 - 4:30 AM6 comments

STANDARD-EXAMINER EDITORIAL BOARD

Students across the United States walked out of school at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Utah students joined them, including hundreds at Weber High School.

  • RELATED: “Weber High School students walk out, honor victims of school shooting”

They walked out to protest gun violence.

They walked out to remember the 17 students and teachers killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

They walked out to make themselves heard.

Yet some refused to listen to you.

Why?

Perhaps because you refused to shut up and sit down at your desks like good little boys and girls.

Or perhaps it was because you called them out.

  • RELATED: “Utah students demand change as part of national walkouts”

You didn’t create this violent culture and flood it with easily obtainable military-style weapons. You didn’t elect lawmakers so financially and politically beholden to the National Rifle Association that a discussion about controlling those weapons is impossible.

No, the generations that came before you did that, and they’d rather not be reminded of it.

They won’t fix it, so now it’s up to you.

Don’t give up.

Your opponents will belittle you. They’ll dismiss you as uninformed and uneducated. They’ll troll you on social media.

But you know all this. You saw it happen to students like David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez in Parkland.

And you also saw that the lies and personal attacks did not defeat them. To the contrary — the ordeal made them stronger.

  • RELATED: “Florida students reclaim passion of Stoneman Douglas”

You saw also that they drew strength from one another. Don’t let your attackers drive you apart. No matter how hard or long the fight against gun violence, stick together.

You’re going to need each other.

We’ve been through this before. It took young people defying their elders, defying their government to end the Vietnam War.

That required years.

You’re trying to stop a war, too. But this time, it’s a war on you and your schoolmates — a war by Americans, on Americans.

Don’t give up. Because you’re our best hope.

Unless you prevail, nothing will change.

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