School walkouts make us proud (editorial)

Wednesday’s school walkouts over gun violence – all over the country – young people stood up and demanded that adults pay attention – they had something important to say – impossible to ignore them. Outrageous frequency of school shootings – in a place they have every right to feel safe - long past time somebody took steps to protect them. No juvenile excuse to cut class – not rowdy or insubordination – a respectful and responsible exercise of their First Amendment rights – an example of bold civic engagement on which our democracy is founded. Protests happened safely and with minimal disruption to school. Then they “quietly returned to class.” For the most part, DE schools and elected officials were great. However, a few school administrators reacted badly, threatened students with various sanctions (according to students talking to the News Journal). “We understand that routine and consistency are vital to running a good school,” but “history rarely looks kindly on those who tried to quash legitimate protests.” So let’s hope the school officials in question will “reconsider.” Finally, walkouts are seen as a beginning, not the end, “and many students seem committed to doing more – such as joining massive protests in Washington or reaching out to local legislators. “Hopefully, when they’re old enough, many of them will vote.” Now it’s time for the adults who support the students to follow up with more concrete action. “It’s time that “we listened – and acted.”
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