Never Again!

Speaking out across the globe

After hearing of the tragic shooting in Florida mere weeks ago, many of us were saddened beyond belief. Even on the other side of the globe, almost sixteen thousand kilometres away, it is far too easy to imagine to the horror students just like me must have faced, too easy to see our futures just as easily ripped away. Far too scary to know that these were people my age, not knowing if they’d survive the day in a place they were supposed to be protected. After hearing about one more heartbreak, we cry, learn their names, and hope our good wishes reach them from the other side of the world.

Students in the United States, the very demographic falling victim again and again, have stepped up and are taking a stand. In order to protest against gun violence and to honour the 17 victims of the recent mass school-shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there have been classroom walkouts as well as a 17 minute silence. The awe-inspiring displays of leadership and bravery expanded beyond the passion of a chosen few students, and instead, students across the entire country took part.

This could be one of the biggest mass-coordinated student-led protests the country has seen, and it is being heard loud and clear across the United States and worldwide. But there is no tokenism, only sadness, anger and a desire to change something. The desire to go to school and feel safe from gun violence, to stop losing friends far too early. These students, far from the eye-rollingly ignorant ‘lazy and entitled’ stereotype, have started this change, and amongst all this tragedy, it is truly incredible to see such leadership.

The passion from people so close to this issue is powerful and emotional, pointing to a brighter future ahead for students. Perhaps much of this passion has built over time, from too many incidents forgotten, but now the students have said enough is enough. Though the issues we face may not be the same here in Australia, we stand together in our desire to improve society for ourselves and those who come after us. In the wake of such a sad time, their desire to change a nation-wide issue has been one of the most inspiring things we fellow students have seen. They are being recognised internationally for their protests and the world is listening, but will it be enough to make the change that they have worked for? Only time will tell, but something tells me they aren’t going to just let this be forgotten. Never again.

Briana Hines
Student Executive 2017-18

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