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Penalty Shots: This is a new era of activism

 
By Pete Spitler
pspitler@localsouthernnews.com
updated: 2/22/2018 2:40 PM

I was in high school during the 1990s, a period of time of general rebellion among the U.S. teenage populace.

We had Nirvana, Kris Kross (creators of the worldwide smash hit song "Jump" in 1992), D-Generation X (of the "suck it" taunt), Guns N' Roses, Eminem, the list goes on.

It was a time when disrespecting authority was cool. Most of the guys I knew disobeyed their parents, stayed out late, indulged in all kinds of substances and generally were menaces to society.

I, however, didn't participate in any of that. That's probably why I wasn't popular in high school.

So here we are, some 20-odd years later, with a new generation of teenagers seemingly determined to make their mark on the world.

While the teenagers of my generation didn't seem to give much attention to the world around them, the teenagers of 2018 appear to be not only fed up with recent events - but also willing to do something about them.

This now the age of activism, pushed to the forefront by rallies such as the Women's March and an increasing desire for young people to have their voice heard.

And it's the organizers of the Women's March who are calling for a National School Walkout Day on March 14. Students, theoretically, are to walk out of classes for 17 minutes starting at 10 a.m.

The "17" signifies the number of victims killed in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Maybe this is what we need to fix this, a different voice to break through the noise in Congress and the White House.

The students that we have in the schools across America have to understand that their voice has meaning. Their lives have meaning.

For generations, parents have told their children "you can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough for it." They have encouraged them to get jobs,

In listening to interviews from the Parkland students, Diego Pfeiffer said something that seems so simple, but yet so powerful.

"We're trying to make it so that Douglas is the last one," he said.

What if it was? What could be done to change this seemingly unending cycle of shooter events the country is on?

We need to look to our young people for guidance. Children shouldn't have to feel scared about something as simple as getting an education.

This isn't Iraq. It isn't Afghanistan or even Syria. But there are days when it seems that way and that's not right.