Since the devastating shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this month, students across America have announced plans to walk out in protest for the 17 lives that were lost.
Walkouts and rallies in South Florida and Fort Lauderdale ignited a chain reaction for other protests in the coming weeks, including one to commemorate the Columbine shooting.
“We are the students, we are the victims, we are change, fight gun violence now!” wrote one student in support of the staged walkouts. “Senate High School students across the U.S.A, the way to fight back is here. There has been too much complacency on the part of politicians when it comes to gun violence. The time to act is now!”
While many have found purpose in the protests, one particular student is making a much different statement to effect change—and the Internet is rallying behind her.
In a recent Facebook post, educator Marcey Raymond Kusper wrote about the poignant response one of her students had in a classroom discussion regarding the Florida shooting, and it certainly bears repeating:
“In class today, the topic of school protests to honor the 17 victims of the Florida shooting came up. One of my students said, ‘I think it’s stupid. How about you make friends with 17 kids you normally wouldn’t instead of walking out of school.’ What great conversation came out of it. Smile at 17 people you normally wouldn’t smile at, say a kind word to 17 people who might not have someone to speak to, open up your heart to 17 people who might be hurting, offer friendship to 17 people who might have had none. Now that could change the climate of the school. 17 reasons for change… 17 reasons to make a difference. What’s your 17?? I like that slogan.
Today warmed my heart to be a teacher. #whatsyour17“
While the name of the student has not been identified, her wisdom beyond her years has certainly ignited a viral reaction across the web. Thousands have joined forces in agreement that we should slay the evil of Florida with the only force more powerful: love.
So what’s your 17?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this student’s powerful perspective with your friends on Facebook!