Online Exclusives Opinion — 02 March 2018

Editorial from The Express staff

Thoughts and prayers do not initiate change, but action does. And one of those actions is the series of walkouts students across the nation are planning.

 Las Positas students should be involved.

The nationwide walkout will be held March 14, planned by the Women’s March Youth Empowerment Group, as a call for for stricter gun control laws and reform. The plan is for all students, teachers and allies to walk out at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes. The 17 symbolizes the 17 lives lost in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

A walkout at Las Positas is in the works.

This is no excuse for missing school or for skipping class. This is a matter of children going to school and not returning home.

This isn’t just about protesting guns or trying to force the hand of lawmakers to do something about mass shootings.

It is affecting the younger generations, it is happening to them. They are the victims. Their classmates are being killed and their friends are dying en masse. Also, these climates and these actions have been what college is all about. This is an opportunity to teach the youth about peaceful protests, the importance of activism and the power of their voice. This is not a new concept, as colleges have been doing this for ages. Opportunities continuously abound in our society.

May 2, 2016, San Francisco State University students protest cuts made to the Ethnic Studies program. After a 10 day hunger strike, SFSU President Leslie Wong signed an agreement committing almost half-a-million dollars to fund the colleges Ethnic Studies program, according to USA Today College.

Nov. 29, 2017, UC Berkeley graduate students rallied in Sproul Plaza to rebel against the tax plan. This was also a national walkout and was organized at nine California campuses stretching from Davis to San Diego. The tax plan targets higher education by considering tuition and fee waivers as taxable income. The tax bill would raise taxes on graduate students by nearly 400% according to the National Graduate Tax Campaign.

Aug. 29, 2017, San Jose State University practices a sit in to protest the return of a professor who sexually harassed a student. After months of paid leave, the professor was due back to teach.

As a result of lack of evidence, the professor was allowed to return back to SJSU, The Spartan Daily reported.

This is happening now, in real time. Our generation, our students, have an opportunity to be part of history that will live on.

This is our version of UC Berkeley protesting Vietnam. This is our version of HBCU students leading the way in sit-ins in the Jim Crow south during the Civil Rights movement.

It’s time to back off social media, sex and drugs for a moment and be part of a societal shift. It’s time we care about more than makeup, fashion and sports. This is a small part of a major issue. But it is our part and our time to add our voices.

How many more children have to die for a change to be made? According to the New York Times, 438 have been shot at school since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and it’s only going to keep rising if changes aren’t made.

This 17 minute walkout will not change the ever-present issue of school shootings we have in America, but the 17 minutes will send a message to the people in power who have so far done nothing but tweet prayers.

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We are the award-winning student newspaper of Las Positas College in Livermore, Calif.

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