Students Rise to the Challenge – and Prepare for Change

There are SO MANY topics in the last few months worthy of discussion and as many know – sources of exhaustion in trying to dissect bit by bit the importance of such a movement.  Bit by bit, several posts will attempt to bring some importances to light.

In moving back to the United States from Mexico, as an American shielded from the controversy somewhat being in another country, as a consensus, Americans also realized this did not take away from being an American, just in how far the controversies reached you inside seemed to be numbed a bit.  I know with the recent earthquake (again) – many Americans sounded off saying believe it or not, they’d risk going through another earthquake than another school shooting – it pains your heart to go through the yet again repeated cycle of a school shooting and today, opinions, stances, back and forth just kept a repeated, frustrated reaction to school shootings in the present news – BUT

the continual emphasis and pressure that young people – and the potential – to force change among politicians of all levels, from the highest to the lowest levels – are on the horizon as these students turning 18, will make a MAJOR impact in a new election.

Certainly a walk out of school in protest on a certain day is controversial, as two days of ideas and opinions brings the hazards of being ineligible to wanting chance, for the sake of a system that has been broken for years – what to do?  Remarkably, the youth of Florida have taken the reins and are organizing, across the whole country, using social media to impact a change with a March planned in Washington.

After just TWO days of so many possibilities being tossed back and forth on Facebook. solutions, and opinions, and sharing those examples with youth wanting to make a change, young people began to realize how out of hand this topic was and could be – and began to make connection to reinforce the need for a more widespread movement for change – youth initiated.

From the recent release 8 days before this Florida tragedy, (unbeknownst that 8 days later another school shooting would occur in Florida) by Rhiannon Navin,

What is rewarding is seeing youth being give the freedoms from parents that recognize, simply being is not enough.  Not questioning what can be, being still and compliant and not questioning better ways to improve this world can and is unacceptable. Empowering youth to create better methods, better ideas, and being more open-minded is the reality of who the United States always has been, and this is just one lone topic.  Can you imagine how many ready to turn 18 voters can make a difference?  World changing.  Along the way, adults begin to learn youth begin to help guide adults along this tangled path of open mindedness in making positive change, declining from the heated and hated themes of debate, and bring all views to the table for transparency -making change by being open-minded.  

Much exists to how parents can work hand in hand with youth in helping them mold a better, more hopeful and positive future.  HUGE KUDOS to the President (and I have not had many Kudos to hand out) for the opportunity for these very powerful youth to meet and do just that, transparency that can result in action after so many needless deaths already in the United States.  As David Hogg, one of the leading students asking for a change finally after no visible change over the last 2 years stated:

“You’re the president. You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us,” said David Hogg, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, speaking on NBC’s “ Meet the Press.

It is exciting to have students find positive solutions to change.  Goodness knows the world needs it and the adults in politics have not found ways at all.  Adults across the country are willing to go to controversial rallies, vote, but not be visible enough in their individual communities to walk the walk and back up their talk.  Those that are, are so few, and with young people seeing themselves as vehicles for change, they in fact can make so much that is invisible (funding by rich businesses to rich politicians and lobbyists, I’ll rub your back and you rub mine for the bottom dollar, alot of political rhetoric that goes no where but blaming blaming blaming) – it is refreshing in this one instance for sure, how positive outcomes, transparent outcomes can result FINALLY.

I was well aware of “bring your child to work day.”  I am beginning to think once a week, children need to be brought to all legislative offices as an intern to be the true voices of their communities that those, with the threat of being voted out of office, will seriously consider the agenda items that bring the United States of America together, not agendas that cause division for the sake of retaining an office and salary.  it is very exciting to see the reasons for hope come from some very empowered, brave youth that do not hold back the fact that change is on the horizon.  Even when it comes amid the face of such tragedy.  Lets just hope the adults will learn from this lesson as well, and those adults that can in fact make a change amid the temptation of position, clout, and salaries.

I think a lesson exists here for so many educators, forms, paper, and the same old way of teaching students to pass their current grade is not enough – being able to provide all sides of an issue, all consequences of action, and MAKING EDUCATION CONNECTED TO THE REAL WORLD and not about jumping through piles of assignments without a realistic connection – or for the sake of passing a state/national test, that is not enough.  It does not prepare students of today for what awaits them.  Making every discipline’s focus tightly tied to elements of what awaits them in the real world? – This fights division, close mindedness, prejudice, bigotry, isolationism, insular focuses, and ready to pressure those that represent us to avoid the same pitfalls and truly become more like the name of this great country and what this country can be with all peoples, all countries, the UNITED States of America.  Excited to see youth create one of the most vital hands-on projects in the wake of such a heart breaking tragedy within the last week.


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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