Why Choose Flight When You Can Fight?

 Chloe Keith

IMG_3061February 14, 2018. Valentine’s Day. A tragedy in the making for the students of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. After watching 17 of their peers, teachers, and faculty be killed by a former student with a gun, the students took a stand.

Calling to action all other students and anyone willing to help, the Stoneman Douglas students fought for safety in schools. Like many teens before them, these students rose to power in a time of need. They have shown the strength of the many teens in history that have fought for equal rights and privileges. Very quickly, students all over the globe stood with them, making Generation Z one of the most impacting generations currently alive today.

Often called the “Plurals”, Generation Z has no set date, however, many consider them to be those that were born between the mid-90’s and the mid-00’s. This makes all students currently in high school a part of Generation Z.

I believe that the people of Generation Z are the most influential group of people currently alive. In the wake of a tragedy, we took a stand.

As a part of Generation Z, I have grown up with these people who are now quickly changing the world. I believe in every way that we are capable of this.

The Stoneman Douglas teens have experienced things that no teenagers should have to go through at such a young age. They have experienced true heartbreak. Not over some boy who told them he no longer wants to be together. Not over some girl they used to hold hands with in the hallway who now walks with someone else. Instead, they have experienced heartbreak for the students they used to smile at when they walked by each other who are now lying in a grave below their feet. They have experienced pain. Not from getting tackled in football or from falling down during a cheer competition, but from going to funerals and seeing friends in tears over a fellow student who left too soon. They have experienced anguish. Not because they failed their chemistry test or forgot their line in a school play, but because the chair next to them is now missing a cheerful face, one that should never be gone in the first place.

The rest of Generation Z has witnessed their pain first hand and it is time for it to stop. If the generations before us are going to stand on the sidelines in a time of crisis, then it is our time to take to the field.

We in every way are ready to take on the challenge that previous generations have left to us. We are ready to help change the world for the next generation.

No longer should students have to worry that they will not get the help and support they need for mental health issues. No longer should students have the capability to walk into a store and buy a gun. No longer should students have to go into school worrying that they will be shot. No longer should students have to walk into school knowing that their friends and classmates died in the halls that they are standing in. No longer should students be scared out of their minds just because they are walking through the doors of their school.

The other day, the fire alarm went off unexpectedly at Kings High School and Junior High. Instead of the normal pondering of students asking where the fire was or if someone had accidentally set off the alarm, there was a much more concerning question being asked. Are we going to be shot? It happened in Parkland, so why not here? This is not a question that should ever be asked when the fire alarm goes off. This is not a question that should ever be asked period. We. Need. To. Fix. This.

Today’s students should never have to genuinely worry about whether or not they will die at school at the hands of another human being. This, however, is a problem that every Generation Z student faces and it’s one that we have decided to fix.

Generation Z is officially taking over and we are not backing down. It is our time now, and we are completely ready. We are ready to lead this world to a new future. We are ready to take it by storm. We are ready to face whatever life throws at us. We are ready to jump whatever hurdles necessary. We are ready and we are not going to stop fighting. Ever.