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One Month Since Parkland Shooting; Where Are We Now?

walkout location

walkout location

Luci Conkling

Luci Conkling

walkout location

Akout Malual

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It’s been a month since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the nation is in a frenzy.

The fallout from this event is nothing short of impactful. A nationwide school walkout was held on March 14, 2018. Thousands of students exited their high schools and stood outside the buildings for 17 minutes, a minute for each victim.

Luci Conkling
walkout location

There have been countless intense moments of confrontation between student survivors of the attack/parents of victims and law makers. Emotions are soaring on both sides of the gun control debate and people want action and answers.

Everything about the frequent shootings in the nation over the past several years are almost impossible to understand.

“Why are people doing this?”, “What should we do when this happens?”, and the golden question: “How do we prevent these shootings?”. These are the questions on everyone’s minds and the increasingly frustrating fact of the matter is there seeming to be no definite answers. But this doesn’t stop people from trying.

On March 12, 2018 Oak Park held a forum on school safety. The forum consisted of speaking from school faculty, safety workers, and students. Students were eager for answers and faculty seemed to have one for everything asked. I believe this was done in intention to ease students nerves on the matters at hand but I believe this can be counterproductive.

luci Conkling
walkout crowd

The walkout was also heavily facilitated by the school, students were required to check out through the attendance office and cones were placed around the parking lots. This is all done in the name of student safety so it is very understandable, but at the same time does it take the power out of the demonstration?

There were also criticisms of the demonstration itself. Many felt it was pointless and would have no real impact. One could say it’s to “raise awareness” but who isn’t aware of the situation and what’s the action after awareness is raised.

I don’t believe the walkout was pointless, it sends out a powerful message and allows people to express their frustration. But some people may let it go to their heads. There are other things people can do such as calling their representatives and donating to victim’s families, but because a walkout is more symbolic, and admittedly easy, more are willing to participate.

Students Walk out by Luci Conkling

The sensationalizing of protest since it has become “in” on social media I feel has been running rampant. There’s a lot of fickle support for movements, for example the Black Lives Matter movement and Dakota Access pipeline protests, leading to a lot of supposed “action” with only Instagram posts and viral videos to prove results.

Now, I don’t feel people are wrong for being inspired to voice their opinions and protest. A society requires change and ideas to advance. But a movement with all smoke and no fire, is a movement done in vain, and this applies to both sides of the argument.


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