Student Voices Speak Louder Than Gunshots


Photo, courtesy of Facebook

Ariana Bondi, Staff Writer

Thoughts and prayers for the victims of Parkland, Florida have not been enough for Tenafly students; policy and change is what they are looking for. To show this, the school will be hosting a walkout. In order to show honor to the victims that were affected and killed in the mass shooting at Parkland Florida, many schools have taken initiative to stage a 17-minute moment of silence. The school’s walkout will be held on March 14th in the senior parking lot.

The nationwide school walkouts have been primarily run by the youth “to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship,” according to ABC. Students believe that since no change has been taken yet in accordance with the creation of stricter gun laws, they must make it their duty to cause change. “We as students can make a change. We should not just leave it to our policy makers, and just because we can’t vote doesn’t mean we can’t influence,” said Anya Kasubhai, sophomore class president.

The school walkout organizers have tried to keep it apolitical, but some believe that in order to honor the people who passed, policies need to be implemented. Some students think that it is wrong to be biased and that the walkout should just be intended to commemorate the innocent lives that were taken. “It is supposed to honor the 17 people that passed away, but it has become more political,” said Jiho Park (’20). Some students are simply indifferent. “I believe guns aren’t killing people; the kids that have guns are. I believe in the right to bear arms,” said Lily Feingold (’20). Feingold is unsure if she will take part in the walkout. She wants to honor those who lost their lives, but not to change gun policies.

Students have led a push against the reformation of gun laws, but claim not to go against their schools. Although some schools have been punishing students and banning school protests, Tenafly has been trying to make sure students’ voices are heard. “What schools need to understand is that this isn’t a protest against them. We are with the school— we just want to feel safe,” said Nicole Shaker (’20).

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that the schools are allowed to punish students for missing class on the day of the school walkout. But the school can only punish the students on the grounds of missing class and not the fact that they are protesting.

On the day of the walkout, students will be participate by making posters, talking about their own views, and simply walking out. In other school walkouts, posters have been seen saying, “fear has no place in our school,” and more signs denouncing the NRA. Many people are placing blame on the politicians who take the NRA’s money. Posters are seen saying, “to every politician taking NRA’s money, blood is on your hands.”

In a force against big conglomerates and government officials the brave students will take their voices outside to be heard. “The walkout shows our students aren’t standing for the status quo and hopefully it will show our policy makers how much we are looking for change,” Kasubhai said.