In my next class, I asked my students to reflect on the video and what they’ve learned from the survivors of Stoneman Douglas so far. Their responses absolutely blew me away, so I asked them if I could share them in this post.
Here’s what they had to say:
I think the kids speaking up against gun rights are very brave, however it’s really sad that 17 kids had to die in a shooting to make change start. Their use of social media to advocate about their opinions is really inspiring, and they’re really trying to prevent situations like this from occurring again in the future. These students are making the future they’re going to live in a safer place.
-Maya, age 12, U.S.A.
I think it was extremely strong and courageous for the survivors at Stoneman Douglas High to channel their grief and anger towards making a real difference in our world. From their brave examples of advocacy, we have seen the true power of social media. We can learn how important social media is when it comes to speaking up for your own voice, and for the voice of others. Social media has the ability to influence and inspire a large number of people in our world today—a world where the voices of people are hardly ever heard. Social media has the power to finally make a change.
-Becky, age 12, Canada
I believe that the Stoneman Douglas students have done a great job at advocating for stricter gun laws. So many people before them have advocated and failed, but these students are already raising huge awareness everywhere about Gun Control. They’ve even made it into the Chinese News. I learned that if you want something to change, just organize a bunch of people with the same idea and take action.
-Daniel, age 13, USA
I think that although many people think that social media is disruptive or addictive, it can actually help our society in times of protest or when we want to spread news. Although there are often many shootings, the Stoneman Douglas students actually are going the extra mile by confronting the NRA and hosting rallies and marches. All of these require supporters, and by using social media as one of their main ways of getting the attention of other teens, they can get a much bigger following of people willing to support their cause, and that can bring power to their movement.
-Sam, age 14, South Korea
So… are we going to D.C. for a class trip on the 24th, or what?
-Aaron, age 13, U.S.A.
Experts say that the influence of social media has shifted the number one value of teenagers to fame. While it might not be what I want for my students, it’s awesome to see them embracing idols who get attention for standing up for what they believe in as opposed to pulling thoughtless and offensive pranks for “likes.” Maybe this means we can finally stop worrying about Logan Paul.
Oh, and my students have a favor to ask: Since it’ll be hard for us to pull off that class trip from Shanghai to D.C. on March 24, please go and march in support where you can.
This lesson corresponds to the National Health Education Standard 8: Students will advocate for personal, family, and community health.