Student VoicesBack to student voices archive March 23, 2018
‘March For Our Lives’ offers valuable civics’ lesson: Don’t be afraid of your government
My name is Caitlin Glastonbury. I am a high school senior from Webster, New York, just outside of Rochester, and I am joining the fight against gun violence.
On Wednesday, February 14th, I saw the news of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people dead, 14 of them teenagers. Hundreds of children and families and community members affected.
I was shocked, but honestly, not surprised. I mean, my news feed never stops telling of tragedy. It’s non-stop shootings and bombings and violence and death.
Over the the next couple of days, I read more about the shooting, and the more I learned, the more I realized: this could have been me. This could have been my school.
But I also noticed something else in my news feed: a large and growing number of young people taking part in the democratic process. A loud outcry by teenagers, spearheaded by Stoneman Douglas students, were calling on lawmakers to end gun violence in United States.
I saw that a National School Walkout was being organized for March 14th, and I immediately wanted to participate. I spent the following weeks focused on planning an event at my school.
I had the support and help of my teachers, my administration, and, most importantly, my friends.
I cannot express how grateful I am for the time and effort they spent planning the walkout.
But, of course, we faced some backlash. Some students had decided not to participate because it would be “too political.” Some ruled that it was “not political enough.”
Some went so far as to oppose us on the day by wearing shirts supporting guns and the NRA.
At the same time, a group of my friends and I were planning a trip to join the March For Our Lives in Washington D.C. on March 24th. We wanted to bring as many local students as possible. We were incredibly lucky to raise more than $5,500 through GoFundMe to cover the entire cost of the trip. The monies raised allowed us to charter a bus to the march full of 51 Rochester-area students.
We received an overwhelming amount of support from our community after appearing on local news, but again, some backlash.
We were called lazy for asking for donations. We were called slackers for skipping school to attend this historic event, even though we are travelling during the night on Friday. We were called snowflakes for caring about the safety of American children. I was even called a boy for having a short haircut.
And still, we are traveling to Washington. We are going to march with students and people from around the nation to demand change.
I am incredibly proud of my generation. We are the people who are finally standing up and making the difference.
We are not afraid of our government. We are creating the future that we want, in which no student will have to worry about someone with a gun entering their school and destroying their life.
If you are reading this, I beg you to speak up. Talk to your friends, your family. Write to your legislators. Register to vote, and then vote. We have a voice. Now is the time to use it.
If you are participating in one of the March For Our Lives marches, send a picture of yourself at the event to email@example.com and we may include it on our website. Include your name, grade, city and a caption that captures what you remember most about the day.
Tooltip of related stories
More Student Voices
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of related content
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Impeachment hearings: Short activity for your students
In this NewsHour lesson, find out about the testimonies of key witnesses in the impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump. Continue readingcurrent eventsDonald Trumpgeorge kentGovernment & CivicsHouse Judiciary Committeeimpeachmentimpeachment hearingimpeachment hearingslesson planMarie Yovanovitchpublic policyRudy GiulianiSocial StudiesSuper Civics 2020Ukrainewilliam taylor
STEM Current Events: How DNA testing cracks cold cases
In this NewsHour lesson, find out about the first genetic genealogy case to go to trial — and how the science behind it solved a 32-year-old double murder. Continue reading23andmeancestry.combiologyCivicscrimecurrent eventsDNAgenealogygenetic geneologyGovernment & CivicsInnovation & Inventionlaw enforcementlesson planNGSSprivacy issuesScienceSocial StudiesSTEMWilliam Brangham
Impeachment update: Why public hearings?
Use this NewsHour lesson plan to learn the latest on the impeachment inquiry, including why the House decided to hold public hearings. Continue readingcurrent eventsDonald Trumpelection 2019election 2020Government & Civicshouse of representativesimpeachment inquirylesson planMichael BloombergShields and BrooksSuper Civics 2020whistle-blowerwhistleblower
How to teach the latest update on impeachment inquiry
Use this NewsHour lesson plan to learn about next steps following the House vote to approve impeachment procedures. Continue readingCongresscurrent eventsDonald TrumpGovernment & CivicsHouse Judiciary Committeehouse of representativesimpeachmentimpeachment inquiryJerry Nadlerlesson planNews & Media Literacynews literacySocial StudiesSuper Civics 2020
Zombie autopsies: You’ll be wishin’ for some neurotransmission – Lesson Plan 1
This lesson introduces students to neurons and neurotransmission through multi-media and active learning games. Continue readingbiologychemistryneuroscienceSciencezombies