Why we walked out

Vigil held February 15 at Tam High School in Mill Valley for the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Photo by Fabrice Florin.

By Audrey Booth

Many people have asked us why we are walking out. The answer is simple: we want our schools to be safe.

We live in a world where students have a genuine fear of a school shooting happening on their campus. A few weeks ago, the power went out at our school during sixth period. It only lasted a few seconds, but a student was afraid it was the beginning of a shooting.

This is the reality of the world we live in, and it needs to change. We need our legislators to protect students by passing laws to restrict gun sales and permits. We are not asking for guns to be banned—we are simply asking that guns be less accessible to those who are not mature or mentally stable enough to handle them safely, and that our representatives pass measures to reduce gun violence.

I, along with so many other high school students, will be voting this November, and the rest in the few years that follow. When we vote, we will vote for those who not only promise to keep our schools safe, but deliver on those promises. If our representatives want to get reelected, they need to make effective gun laws to protect us.

We are also asking our schools to work with local law enforcement to teach students what to do in the event of an active shooter situation on campus. Students should know how to respond, how to run (zig-zag motion), and where to run to. We practice lockdowns at school, but that is not going to protect us if someone opens fire in a place where we can’t hide. We need our schools to show us what to do and what not to do if something like this happens.

We never again want to hear that people are dying in a place where they are supposed to be safe, especially children. No one should be afraid that a child or teacher in their family is going to be killed by something completely preventable. We all need to come together right now and demand that gun laws change. Our democracy works when we make our voices heard. So we are speaking up.

Audrey Booth is a senior at Mira Loma High School in Sacramento.

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