You Did It Wrong


Max Boland

Yesterday, about 75 students at Lakewood High School stood on the campus lawn to protest school shootings and advocate for gun control. At the same time, Westlake High School did theirs in an opposite and correct fashion. The February 21st protest at Lakewood High School was full of chanting, marching and giggles while Westlake held up signs with the most recent victims’ names and sat silently for 17 minutes, while the list of victims was read.

Instructed to stand on the lawn at noon, more than 75 students went out and protested–while a large number left to go to Chipotle or skip school for the day.  From any classroom with open windows, chants could be heard: “This is what democracy looks like,” among other angry phrases that one could not make out. From the cafeteria, one could see the skewed mob of teens–a la carte liberals as I like to say–gathered near the street to goof off in front of news cameras and completely undermine the cause. A few poignant signs stood out from the prepared minority of protesters, but most were angsty teenagers looking to blow off steam.

When asked about other marches, if they were looking for local gun regulation or if the statement was a government protest, the ‘Voice’ of the Instagram admin responded, “I would consider it a mix of the two, leaning more heavily on the latter.”

Westlake High School performed a similar protest yesterday, holding signs that said “Enough is enough,” and “How many more will it take?” A few chosen speakers read statistics about gun related murders and recited poetry. Afterwards, students at Westlake stood silently for 17 minutes or so listening to all the names of victims from the most recent school shooting and others. A quiet, emotional and mature vigil was held, all while trying to achieve peace and make a statement.

While the students at Lakewood High School feel the same way about gun control as Westlake, Lakewood handled it in a much more immature way. Lakewood let anger and fear get the best of them, while Westlake coordinated with love and kindness. The preparation for both was last second and perhaps that’s why Lakewood’s was so poor–either way, we need to do better. This is not how we want to represent our school or pay tribute to those whose lives have been lost to senseless murder.

No more thoughts and prayers. I agree. You want action? Do something more than making a fool of yourself on our front lawn. Call your congress people. Start the conversation.