Wednesday , February 28, 2018 - 4:30 AM
What are you doing Monday at 2:14 p.m.?
If you’re a student at Ben Lomond High School, there’s a chance you’ll be standing at your desk, observing three minutes of silence.
And if you’re an adult, you should honor their courage by standing, too.
Students in Doug Stephens’ Advanced Placement classes came to school shattered Feb. 15, the day after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, took 17 lives. Stephens’ students agreed they needed to do something about gun violence, but what?
Their answer — #Standfor214.
Students chose their numbers intentionally. Parkland, the ninth deadliest mass shooting in American history, occurred on 2/14. The protest ends at 2:17 p.m., to recall the 17 students and teachers who died.
But it’s more than a recurring memorial. It’s a demand for America’s adults to address gun violence.
“We want action,” said Ivy Rose Stuart, an 18-year-old senior. “Some sort of legislation, some sort of response other than ‘thoughts and prayers.’ ”
If that sounds familiar, it should.
"Please, take action. Ideas are great. Ideas are wonderful and they help you get re-elected and everything," Parkland senior David Hogg told CNN after the shooting. "But what's more important is actual action . . . that results in saving thousands of children's lives. Please, take action."
#Standfor214 doesn’t advocate a political agenda. It is not liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat.
“We’re not trying to get rid of guns, we’re just sick of seeing kids die,” Stuart said. “This is not conservative vs. liberal, this is Americans.”
Americans in the best sense.
Students created #Stand214 because they reject violence. That leaves civil disobedience as the only effective form of protest available, and they embraced it.
“Our motives are rooted in being completely respectful, and we have nothing but positive intentions,” said senior Alysa Jenkins, a #Standfor214 organizer. “But at the same time, we’re not asking for permission. We don’t mean to step on toes, but we do plan on doing it and standing up for ourselves.”
When students met with Principal Dale Wilkinson last week to discuss #Standfor214, he offered his support. No matter where it occurs, Wilkinson said, gun violence touches every school.
He also intends to stand silently at his desk each Monday when the clock hits 2:14.
“I’ll stand up, too,” Wilkinson told Mark Saal, a reporter for the Standard-Examiner. “Because I’m opposed to gun violence, so I’ll stand with these students.”
All of us should stand with these students. Because if we don’t, we’ll continue standing over their graves when they die in mass shootings.
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