We are fighting for our safety

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Graphic by Suzanna Creasey

We cannot allow more lives to be taken from us.

13 lives taken at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colo. on April 20, 1999.

32 lives taken at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. on April 16, 2007.

26 lives taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on December 14, 2012.

5 lives taken at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash. on October 24, 2014.

17 lives taken at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on February 14, 2018.

Students and their families, Glenbrook North staff and the villages of Northbrook and Glenview must come together to show support for those who have faced the disturbing reality of gun violence in their lives. Our student handbook lists “demonstrate responsible citizenship” as an objective for students to pursue. As citizens, it is our duty to help proactively prevent these events from happening again. Our administration should support the actions of students in our attempt to stand in solidarity with communities affected by gun violence.

We cannot sit and wait for the next tragedy to strike. When our nation faces a heartbreaking event, we mourn together and then it is tucked away in history books. Instead, we need to demand changes to gun control legislation. We can do this by interacting with our representatives, signing petitions and informing those unaware of the issues at hand.

Students around the country are taking charge, and Glenbrook North should join them in this fight for our safety.

Local school administrations throughout the northern suburbs are providing support for their students who are participating in the nationwide walkout that is scheduled to occur at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes on March 14. GBN should facilitate whatever measures need to be taken to ensure safety, whether that be providing increased law enforcement or a safe location to hold the walkout. As of Feb. 27, no statement from the administration has been issued to students and their families in regards to the walkout, but we hope by the time this editorial is published that action is taken in support of our students.

School shootings occur for a number of reasons, with many being tied back to the combination of easy access to guns, mental health issues, lack of safety within schools and more. We have the right to be safe. In addition to demanding increased gun control in the form of thorough background searches or restrictions on the sale of certain guns, our school should assess the mental health of students. Rather than completing a mental health screening once during health class sophomore year, psychologists and counselors should have students complete an assessment more frequently. By doing this, students will be directed to professionals who will be able to provide support and hopefully prevent situations that may be harmful to the student or others.

Once we take these actions as a school and show our support for victims and their communities, we spread awareness of mental health and combat gun violence. We demonstrate to our government how important this issue is to us, we get people to vote for policies that protect us and we create a society that is on the way to becoming safer.

We cannot allow more lives to be taken from us.

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We are fighting for our safety