Today kids in my little rural suburb and all over the county participated in walking out of their schools for 17 minutes to honor the lives lost in the Parkland, Fl. school shooting last month. I watched social media as adults debated about this for the past 48 hours. I couldn’t bring myself to read all the comments on the posts on our community Facebook forum “Let’s Talk <insert name of small town here>” though some I couldn’t escape. I read insults from adults; saying things like the march is political propaganda set up by adults and the kids are being used as political tools, among worse.
At best the adults who believe this are insinuating that kids of middle and high school age don’t have minds of their own. I don’t know about these other people but I sure had a strong mind of my own when I was a teenager. I pity them if they did not. If I felt a certain way and a parent or teacher told me otherwise, my will was not automatically bent to believe whatever they said. Are the adults complaining that the teens are being used and victimized the same people who would complain that their teenagers are stubborn, or won’t listen to them about other things (less important) such as what to wear, what sport to play, or who to hang out with?
These people are completely missing the point. How out of touch do you have to be to not understand why they want to do something big to stand up for their lives? While adults criticize on Facebook the kids are out there working. They are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
I have to be at the high school tomorrow night for a meeting. I wrote this note and will be folding it up and leaving it somewhere to be found by a student:
And here is a poem I wrote weeks ago about ongoing health issues at our local high school:
When the level of copper in water is too high,
It is called blue.
New pipes bring blue water to the high school.
It is unacceptable.
Not fit for human consumption.
Protective biofilm needs time to flourish.
Organic slime pulsing, glistening in the pipes,
Shielding H2O from Cu blue.
Writhing coating, defending the water from the very pipes
Through which it is designed to flow.
But the children cannot wait for this seasoning,
We must protect them now!
Protect them from the blue water,
Though it never hurt me or you in the slightest,
Never murdered us in our own high school.
When the guns are fired,
The adults cannot hear them,
But the kids do.
The sound travels school to school in a deadly game of telephone,
Heard through tin cans connected by string.
But, the blue water.
Blue water at the high school is unacceptable.