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Letter to the Editor: Love and Unity Can't Stop a Bullet

A Response to Javon Hinton’s Letter to the Editor:

Let me make myself clear before I begin: in no way shape or form am I trying to be disrespectful or rude to anyone, whether they be in ASB, a student here at SHS, a teacher, or a member of the administration. I’m merely trying to share my views, and the views shared by a few other students. That being said, I do disagree with you, Javon.

You say this was a “student-led” event, but was it really? If you mean student-led meaning ASB led it, then, yes, it was “student-led”, in the sense that a small minority of students decided to piggyback on a national movement. The “walkout”, if you can even call it a “walkout”, was put on by ASB, and had no input from student body, nor was this brought to the Senate’s attention. If it was really “student-led”, ASB, the school, nor the ASB officers would be involved. By making it a school-sponsored event, it took away from the whole meaning of the National Walkout Day, rendering the meaning null-and-void, and instead turned it into another assembly. In no way was this a “walkout”- it was an assembly that could have occured on any day, any time, and would have been appropriate on any day.

The whole “love and unity” message was lost on me and other students. Instead of uniting students, it further divided them, pitting a minority of students, i.e. the ASB officers and members of the ASB Leadership class, versus the majority of students, i.e. 95% of the student body who didn’t agree with the assembly. Sure, you may have meant well, but the “love and unity” message had no place in a debate about gun control. “Love and unity” cannot protect students from a shooter hellbent on uniting us all in death. It had no place on a day when it was about students uniting, excuse the hypocrisy, for gun reform, safety in schools, and to no longer be afraid to attend school. Additionally, the “love and unity” message directly contradicted what the Parkland students asked for. They don’t want prayers from politicians, or good wishes; they want action.

Moving on to the whole “walk-up” instead of “walk-out”- how does “walking up” have anything to do with “walking-out”? Sure, being nice to others and showing them kindness is great, but what did this have to do with the national movement happening? And why do these two ideas have to be polar opposites? I can advocate for stricter gun reform, better safety in schools, participate in the National Walkout Day, and be a nice person, and give thanks to my teachers, and meet new people, all the while having more success pushing a unity and kindness message than the assembly. Instead of replacing one with the other, let’s give each movement their time in the spotlight. But, right now, let’s give the students who organized the walk-outs nationwide and the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24th the spotlight.

So, to end, I understand your anger Javon. You organized this with intent to unify the student body! You wanted to please the liberal students! You wanted the media to see what a progressive school SHS is! But, sadly, it failed, and instead you got liberal and conservative students agreeing for the first time (that the assembly shouldn’t have happened). Maybe, if I can make a suggestion, maybe ask for the student body’s thoughts first?


AhLana Ames