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Teenagers have a voice — and we won’t be silenced anymore

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The year for change is here. Me Too Movement, protesting guns, March For Women’s Rights– it’s all happening in 2018. It’s sad to see what our country has had to go through to come to this point of utter need for change, but that’s where we are. The newest movement to join the already influential ones of this year: The March For Our Lives.

The March For Our Lives occurred on March 24th. The was movement inspired and led by students, causing a tidal wave of people to march in Washington, DC. From parents to students, teachers to celebrities, there was no limit to the amount of support the movement had from people all over the country. Survivors of some of the recent shootings gave speeches on their thoughts and how gun violence must come to an end. All in all, the student-led march was emotionally moving and had an inspiring message. However, the saddest part of all is that this movement was met head-on with opposing groups of protesters, fighting the March, and claiming the students were too young to understand anything that’s happening.

I’m 16. If we were going strictly off of age, then yes, I’d agree with the statement that I am too young to know what is happening here in the world. But how can we just dismiss my opinions and what I know to be true — what I see happening — solely because of my age? This generation is criticized for being naive about what is happening and that we are too caught up in ourselves to even care. But here my generation is, taking a stand and making a march to protest something we believe in. I don’t care if you disagree with the march, and I don’t care if you do agree with it; this is about the kids. It’s about us.

We have a voice, and we can use it. There will always be people who will claim their superiority to us because of a number. They will claim to know more and have more experience. I’m not here to argue that fact. But what I do believe is that no one will fight for us. I know that you are older, but you won’t do anything about what’s affecting us. Let us do something for ourselves because this movement is concerning gun laws which affect us, not just adults. We should get a say in what happens. Lives, young lives, young “naive” lives, have been taken. The sad thing about the statement that “kids don’t know anything” is that the whole claim is blown to shreds the moment that they watched their friends’ lives being taken right in front of them. They grow up in that very minute, and that is every reason enough of them to have a say. Age does not give a right to take away a voice.

I couldn’t care less if you agree with what these kids are protesting for, but don’t you dare sit there and claim they know nothing. They know enough about the loss they’ve felt and the hurt they’ve experienced. They know what they want, and that is enough. So you don’t have to go march with them, but don’t try to take away their voice by disregarding it as irrelevant.

This is the generation of change. This is our voice. Our chance. No one can take that away from us.

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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central
Teenagers have a voice — and we won’t be silenced anymore