Turning Tragedy into Change

Turning Tragedy into Change

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Two months ago, a former student broke into Stoneman Douglas High School with his high-powered gun and killed 17 individuals. In my lifetime, I have witnessed many similar school shootings. Up until this latest shooting, I have never seen children organize to effect change. I have seen many adult groups do so, but not the survivors of such shootings.

The survivors of Stoneman Douglas High School were understandably sad…devastated…outraged. Instead of turning inward, they spoke out. They organized. They inspired. They led.

Joe’s Perspective: Please understand. You don’t have to agree with this view on gun control. Many don’t. My point is that these young people believed in their cause and organized to create change. They met with politicians, spoke to the media and orchestrated a national walk out for students who shared similar beliefs. How cool is that? Politicians have debated this issue for decades and changed very little. These “kids” were tired of talk. They believed change should occur and acted. For that, I applaud them.

If you believe in something strongly, don’t just sit around and hope for change. You have to be the change. What most people don’t remember is that thousands of children helped create change in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was the children who knelt down in front of those fire hoses. It was children who stood up for their future.  For the first time in 50 years, I saw children do the same thing for their future.

Your Turn: What is your opinion about the students from around the country who walked out of school to march for what they believe?

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