When news of the terrible shooting at a high school in Florida broke last week, many of us watched the courageous survivors of the tragedy transform before our very eyes from victims to activists. Within days these students, with tears in their eyes and fire in their voices, met with President Trump in the White House and organized a rally at the state capitol attended by thousands of high school students and others concerned about gun violence, demanding that something be done to end this scourge. They call it #NeverAgain.
Inspired by their Florida compatriots, students around the country have gathered in recent days to make their voices heard at state capitols and legislative offices, demanding action. And it appears our nation is listening. Not only have legislatures begun to debate measures to try to tackle this difficult issue, but businesses, of their own accord, have adopted new common sense restrictions on gun purchases to lend their support to the idea: Never Again!
But we all know that a few protests here and there will not be enough to get our nation to actually address the problem of school massacres. Citizens must maintain pressure on our legislative bodies to do something to prevent these disasters. To that end, the young student activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are organizing a “March for Our Lives” protest in Washington, D.C., Saturday, March 24th.
To be effective and keep the pressure on lawmakers, the March for Our Lives needs to be well attended by students from around the country. Here in Sonoma, we are a group of fourteen politically woke, passionate students from Sonoma Valley High (and a couple of supportive parent chaperones) and we have committed to joining the protest in Washington this month. Plane fare and lodging alone come to more than $15,000, and we are seeking support to defray these costs, which neither we nor our parents can afford to pay. Not only is this a critical time for us to join in and make our voices heard on this very important issue of school safety, but for us students this represents a big step toward fulfilling our responsibilities as citizens, in being aware and active in the political process.
Thank you very much for your assistance.