Parkland Student Leaders Rise Up


Robb Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

A girl holds up a poster declaring that she stands in solidarity with Emma Gonzalez. Gonzalez has become the face of the gun control movement since the shooting in Parkland, leading many students toward action on the issue.

Caroline Horvath, Editor-in-Chief

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSDHS) are paving the way for their peers around the nation to make a difference. Students from Florida to Ohio and all over the country are rallying together, just one week after the horrific shooting in Parkland, to voice their frustration.

Students have been protesting current gun regulations through marches, school walkouts and meetings with state representatives. Students from MSDHS, such as senior Emma Gonzalez, are fighting for an end to mass shootings and for stricter gun regulations.

Gonzalez quickly gained popularity after giving a speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Feb. 16., just two days after the tragic ordeal. She has become a prominent activist for stronger gun regulation in the past week, reaching out to companies and politicians to cut ties with the National Rifle Association.

“We are actively sharing our progress that our students are making and the steps they are taking,” said Carla Goffstein, a parent of one of the students from MSDHS. “It has become imperative as we talk to people to motivate and inspire [them] to vote for politicians who will make a change on this issue.”

Students from MSDHS drove hours on a bus to Tallahassee to speak to state representatives about gun regulations.

“It is very important to us [that people use their vote],” Goffstein said. “Especially after yesterday when the legislature voted against even bringing up the assault rifle ban for the state of Florida… they voted down for even discussing it.”

WHHS students are taking action, following the lead of those in Parkland, Fla. On Feb. 21, WHHS students and staff participated in a “white out” to honor the victims of the school shooting in Parkland. Hundreds of students also walked out of class to protest current gun laws.

“I am a strong believer that if there is no change then there will be another community in some amount of days that will go through the same thing,” Goffstein said. “No change on our part means that we’d be crazy not to think that the same thing won’t happen again and again… so something needs to be done.”

But change to current gun regulations cannot come over night.

“We are not expecting a silver bullet,” Goffstein said. “We’re not saying that one thing will make the difference and that this will never happen again. It will be multiple steps that need to be taken, but just because it’s hard does not mean that we shouldn’t take the first step.”

MSDHS students are taking the first step and inspiring others to do the same. WHHS students are supporting their fellow eagles to fight for change.