by Brule Eagan
These young Americans fighting for gun law reform give me more hope for the future of this country than I had when the year began.
On Saturday, March 24th, we saw the resolve of hundreds of thousands of them, taking part in the “March For Our Lives”.
They were moving, and courageous, and heartbreaking, and inspiring.
Let’s go back a few days earlier, though, to March 14th, a Wednesday, when students from coast-to-coast walked out of class for 17 minutes to honor the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida.
Among the thousands of schools that saw walkouts, one in particular stood out.
Pennridge High in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, is a school of just over 2,300 students.
On the day of the walkout, Pennridge students were warned not to take part. They would face punishment if they did.
225 Pennridge students called the administration’s bluff and walked out, anyway.
Well, the school wasn’t bluffing, and assigned all 225 of them detention, to be served on Saturday mornings in smaller groups over the course of several weekends.
The first 46 arrived on Saturday, March 17th for their two-hour detention.
They decided to spend it by staging another protest.
They sat in a circle, linked arms, remained silent, and each held a piece of paper upon which was the name of one of the Parkland victims.
News of the protest spread through the Twitterverse like fire; one disgruntled man Tweeted “Where are their parents?” Someone instantly responded “Outside with pizza!” The students had the full support of their parents for exercising the rights they actually have. More students have been serving their detentions since then, and will in the weeks ahead.
They’re teaching the adults something in the process: how to be responsible American citizens.