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BLUE BOMBER VOICES: Lake Placid senior proud to participate in March 14 school walkout

March 23, 2018
By JENNA ELDRED - LPHS senior , Lake Placid News

I got a text on Valentine's Day that just said "there was a school shooting, it's worse than Columbine."

This time, it was at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and 17 people were dead.

Every time I hear the phrase "school shooting," I go back to September, a few days after my 18th birthday, when a gun was found in the Lake Placid Middle/High School. I think about how easily something could have happened to the students here, how easily it could have been us on the news. To this day, that thought still makes my stomach turn. It makes my heart break for students who do not feel safe in their schools.

Article Photos

Lake Placid High School senior Jenna Eldred holds a sign she made for the March 14 protest against gun violence.
(News photo — Griffin Kelly)

Fast forward to the end of February, and there were rumors of a national school walkout on March 14. I was immediately intrigued. Back in September, I yearned to do something but felt like I had no power to change anything, and now I, and the rest of the LPMHS students, had the chance to stand up and fight for our own safety. I heard so many students talking about how empowering it felt to see the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students speak. I knew then that we had to do something, anything, to be a part of this conversation about safety in schools.

I was one of the first students to get outside on the day of the March 14 walkout in Lake Placid. I stared at the school's door as a feeling of dread filled my stomach that there would not be many students attending the event and our effort would just be forgotten.

The first students I saw exiting the building were middle schoolers. I was completely in awe; I did not expect the middle schoolers to join the walkout, but when I saw them a sense of relief took over me. I knew that when the upperclassmen and I have graduated, there will still be students willing to dedicate there time to make changes in the school and this country.

As the snow fell around the approximately 130 students who attended the walkout, I felt a strong feeling of empowerment. We stood as a student body against a crucial issue, and participated in an event that was done nationwide. That feeling is something no one will ever take away from me.

Before and after the walkout, there was a controversy surrounding our actions. I saw posts attacking the idea of students taking a stand and even found some of the walkout posters around school torn down and destroyed in the water fountain. Even though adults and students do not agree with what the students at our school did, I will never feel ashamed.

When I am in college, I do not want to check the news to find out that students at LPMHS were killed in their classrooms. Saying this, I do not want to read about any school being put through that.

As a prospective journalism student, I hope I never have to report on a school shooting. I hope the government listens to the children and understands our need to be safe and will advocate for us.



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