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Protests for peace

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Jessica Fults

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Payton Amlong

Payton Amlong

Students around the country and at our school are taking a stand and making a change

One of the most powerful tools students across the country have is the ability to use their voice. People have positively changed our history through sit-ins and marches, for example, and now more than ever teens are voicing their opinions to change the world.

While having strong opinions and voicing your beliefs is powerful in itself, the skill of raising awareness to an audience of people is just as important. The planning and behind the scenes of a protest is necessary to make a successful change.

The first step in organizing or participating in a protest is having a strong motive. Having a reason that is close to your heart will inspire people around you. Lauren Delgado made a sign and helped get the word out about the walkout that took place at our school, and the subject of gun control means a lot to her.

“[I walked out because] my entire life I’ve been told by teachers and my parents if I want something to happen I should voice my opinion, and it was the perfect opportunity because it’s something I feel strongly about,” Delgado said.

Social media is a platform that can be used to spread the word quickly about a particular issue or event and it is very effective because they can spread quickly through retweets or shares.

“With social media you can voice your opinion, it takes just one person to say ‘I feel a way about this’ and for someone to say ‘I agree with you,’” Delgado said.

After the shooting at MSD the students are taking a stand through the social media platforms to raise awareness for events like marches or taking a stand against the NRA. Nikhita Nookala is the editor of ‘The Eagle Eye,’ the newspaper at MSD high school. Not only does she write and edit impactful stories for their website and paper, but she also posts powerful images and uses her voice across several social media platforms.

“By using platforms such as social media and student media like Twitter, Facebook, and school journalism programs, MSD students were able to consolidate a wide base of support from around the country, and as it turns out, from around the world,”  Nookala said.

While the movement is student-run and showcases their voices the most, they still have reached out to people around them to kick-off the different events they planned.

“Using this momentum, and the support of the incredible alumni network and our teachers and staff, the students who organized the march were able to get in contact with professional organizers and event planners to figure out the logistics of the march, the walkouts, and all the other big events, all while making certain that the voice of the students was the most prominent one,” Nookala said.

Having a visual aid that stands out in a crowd has a meaningful message, and Audrey Blevins, felt that her sign and her peers’ signs were crucial to the effectiveness of the walkout.

“I think the signs were very effective because there weren’t a lot of them and they really stood out amongst the crowd. All of the signs were really powerful,” Blevins said, “I felt that my sign was very moving. It said ‘Your guns aren’t worth our lives,’ and then it had the names of all the Florida shooting victims on it. I think that it got into people’s minds and made them think.”

On a large scale outside of school, there are marches for pretty much every issue that needs attention. Blevins recommends attending these because they get the most attention in from the media.

“There are tons of marches out there, like the March for our Lives, and they are televised which gains more attention,” Blevins said.

Consistently voicing your opinion, and being persistent in your effort, are the most important things to remember when trying to be part of a movement

“Just because something isn’t happening right now, doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. Trying is better than not trying at all so you just have to push through and keep going,” Delgado said.

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Protests for peace”

  1. Chuck Dale-Derks on April 13th, 2018 5:56 pm

    Thank you for your article, Jessica. It is my opinion that legislation and more laws, nor removing weapons, will make life safer. We need more justice and more people taking a stand for what is right. The best defense is a strong offense. Study krav maga or tactical fighting for defense. Read, “Let’s Roll” and understand that it is the ones who take a stand and move swiftly that win the fight.

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